Obituary: LaVerne Root, 80, Ludington.

November 3, 2015
LaVerne Root

LaVerne Root

LaVerne William Root, 80, of Ludington, passed away Sunday, November 1, 2015 at his home, while surrounded by his family. LaVerne, fondly known as Vern to his friends and family, was born on April 3, 1935 in Charlotte, Mich., the son of the late Claud W. and Jessamine B. (Shaffer) Root. Vern graduated valedictorian of his high school in Ingham County, and graduated in 1960 with a Master of Science degree in Applied Mechanics from Michigan State University. LaVerne married Hester Ann Ray, his loving wife of 55 years, on December 12, 1959, at the Judson Memorial Baptist church of Lansing Michigan.

Vern began his career as an engineer at Collins Radio of Cedar Rapids Iowa where he worked on the Mercury and Gemini space programs. Laverne and Hester began their family in Iowa; Anita Sue, Wendy Cathleen, David Earl, Michael Eric, and Amy Dawn. After the family arrived, they moved to Whispering Pines Farm in Mason County, Michigan, where they would spend the next 45 years.

After Laverne’s arrival in Michigan, he spent several years working as an engineer at Jackson Vibrators. Vern and Hester operated Root’s Farm Store from the old Lidke’s feed mill at King’s Corners in Mason County serving the agricultural community. They would continue in feed and farm supply sales, as well as pet sales and supplies into the early 90s.

During the time Vern was running his business and raising his family, he found time to serve the youth of Mason County. In the early 70s Laverne started a livestock oriented club known as the Mason County 4-H Shepherds, which continues to this day. Vern was also a founding member of the Mason County Livestock Council in 1972. This organization served to promote the 4-H market sale at the Western Michigan Fair (WMF), and continues as the Large Animal Market Council. LaVerne was active with the WMF board, serving as Secretary, Treasurer, and President on several occasions during 25 years of membership. LaVerne took great pride in leading his children and the kids of Mason County 4-H as they grew and matured into adults.

LaVerne ran a successful sheep farm for 30 years in Mason County. His meticulous records and desire to improve would lead to Grand Champion level lambs at the Nation Lamb Show in Minnesota in the mid 70s. LaVerne’s success did not change his desire to serve the local 4-H youth with lambs used in the fairs surrounding Mason County area into the 90s. LaVerne retired the farm when his health could no longer support the care.

Throughout Vern’s life he had many interests, these included genealogy, gardening, computers, photography, and most of all his grandchildren. LaVerne’s grandchildren include; Nathaniel Bradford, Rodney (deceased) and Matthew Root, David Jr., Mellissa White, and Alexandrea Root, Erica, Lance, Daphne, and Christos Root, Mable and Grace Kott (both deceased).

LaVerne was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, his sister Claudette, his daughter Wendy Weiner and her son Rodney, and his granddaughters Grace and Mable who died at birth. LaVerne is survived by his wife Hester and his children and their spouses; Anita and Chris Brown, Alan Weiner the spouse to Wendy, David and Melody (White) Root, Mike and Christina (Papadakos) Root, and Amy and Steve Kott. As noted, Vern is also survived by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services for LaVerne W. Root will held on Friday November 6, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Heritage Baptist Church, 655 E. Parkdale Ave., Manistee. Luncheon to follow the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be directed to Hester Root. These donations will be used to help fund a scholarship to benefit local 4-H youth, an area dear to Mr. Root’s heart. They may be sent to Hester Root, 2483 W. Beyer Rd., Scottville MI, 49431

The family would also like to thank Hospice of Michigan for the services they provide at the end of LaVerne’s life, and would like friends and family to consider a charitable donation to this non-profit organization; Hospice of Michigan, 5177 W. US 10, Suite 2, Ludington MI 49431. Please include “LaVerne Root” on the donation.

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