Passed away Sept. 15, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 52.
LaVonne was born to a career Navy man in Independence, Calif. on Nov. 12, 1961. Her family would eventually settle in Mira Mesa, Calif., where LaVonne graduated from Mira Mesa High School in 1979 and earned her Associate Arts degree from Mesa Community College.
She had an accounting background and worked in the jewelry industry for several years in San Diego before moving to Incline Village, NV, where she met her husband Jeff.
They married on June 15, 1990, and settled in Lake Tahoe, where they had two children, Lacey and Luke.
The family moved to Carson City, Nev., in 1995 and then to Grass Valley, Calif., in 2002. Her husband’s career would eventually bring the family to Roseburg in 2012 and LaVonne loved what she called her “Fern Gully” home in Garden Valley.
She also fell in love with Oregon and couldn’t get enough of its emerald-trailed forests, waterfalls and spectacular coast. The family would make the short drive to Face Rock beach in Bandon every chance it could get and no amount of wind would sway LaVonne from her sandy picnic with the family she adored.
She was a professional homemaker and she took that job seriously. When her son Luke was diagnosed with autism at 4 years old, LaVonne was determined to develop his skills, reading to him almost every night of his life, no matter what. They said Luke would never graduate from high school, he and she proved them wrong.
And she never missed a single dance recital for daughter Lacey, even after those recitals made their way to University of Oregon, where Lacey continued to dance. The two of them were inseparable all the way to LaVonne’s final breath.
LaVonne took the time with everyone she met. You didn’t want to be in a line behind her because she would want to know how the store clerk was doing and if it took a little extra time to find out, that was too bad for the next one in line.
She also loved her garden and could make anything grow. There are rows of yellow-burst sunflowers and plump-red tomatoes she left behind that stand tribute to her green thumb.
She battled breast cancer once before and thought she’d beaten it several years ago. But it returned with a vengeance just after moving to Roseburg and her battle was renewed. She was hopeful to the end because she knew she was in good hands at Roseburg’s Community Cancer Center and at Mercy Medical Center. “They (the healthcare providers) are my angels,” she would say, enduring the radiation, blood transfusions and chemotherapy treatments most all cancer patients must endure.
The Ackerman Family would like to thank all of those wonderful health care professionals who battled with and for LaVonne, especially doctors Joshua Weese, Layne Jorgensen and Sarah Agsten.
LaVonne is predeceased by her father, Douglas Kirkmeyer, mother Martha Theresa Rudin, and brother Daniel Kirkmeyer.
Her survivors include her husband Jeff, daughter Lacey, son Luke, stepdaughter Kelli Ellis, sister Theresa Lacey and several nieces, nephews and cousins.