Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Grandma

LaVerne Rutherfurd Smith

 August 10th was my Grandma’s birthday.  I find it difficult to say that in the past tense.  It’s been a year and a half since she passed, but her absence is still hard to accept.  In previous years, my family would have gathered with my Grandma on this day and celebrated with her favorite coconut cake.  Since she lived until the age of 93, we had many such celebrations, and they are cherished memories now.

LaVerne Rutherfurd was born August 10, 1918 in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of George Roscoe Oliver-Rutherfurd and Julia Ellen Barrett.  She was born while her father was away in France, serving in World War I.   

An only child, LaVerne was very outgoing and developed a large group of close friends.  She attended the University of Southern California, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

She met my grandfather, Glenn Murray Smith, when she was 16, and married him at age 23, on November 1, 1941.  During World War II, they lived for a few years in Forestville, on the Russian River, before settling permanently in Southern California.  

Together, LaVerne and Glenn Smith raised five children in San Marino, California.   LaVerne was a loving, devoted mother and very involved in her local community.

 After her death on February 4, 2012, my mother wrote a lovely obituary that described her endless curiosity and dedication to community involvement.  It read, in part, "Mom never tired of discovering new places, new things, and new ideas."  I was fortunate to know her for 37 years.  She was extraordinary.

My Grandma was very passionate about genealogy and history.  It was her interest in this that got me involved in researching our family history, and she directly inspired this blog. 

At my wedding in 2005
I am left with so many beautiful photos of her, plus all of her family history documents.  I expect that it will take me a long time to sort through everything and get it properly archived, but I look forward to the task.  In carrying on something that mattered very much to her, I think I’d be making her proud.  Happy birthday, Grandma.  You are missed.

Sailing to Catalina Island as a young woman

No comments:

Post a Comment