Santa Paula Times


July 21, 2010

Laverne J. Atkinson


LaVerne June Atkinson passed away in Logan, Utah at the home of her daughter on July 7, 2010 with family members in attendance. She was born on March 28, 1930 to William and Erika Pohlman in Salt Lake City, Utah.

As a child she moved with her family to Southern California, and graduated from North Hollywood High School and later from UCLA. LaVerne, or ‘Pohly’ as she was known by her students, taught Physical Education for a year at Fresno High School prior to marrying Jerald D. Atkinson in 1955 and settling in the San Fernando Valley. They started their family in 1960, eventually having four children: three sons and a daughter. LaVerne and Jerry divorced in 1977 but remained the best of friends. In 1980 LaVerne moved to Santa Paula and lived there for nearly 20 years before moving to Utah.

LaVerne was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many teaching positions, including early morning seminary instructor, MIA instructor, Gospel Doctrine teacher, and most recently Sunday school instructor at the Sunshine Terrace in Logan. She also enjoyed singing, and lent her voice to many church and community choirs including the Southern California Mormon Choir, the Maryann Mendenhall Chorale, the Cache Valley Easter Choir, and others.

LaVerne enjoyed people. That phrase is a little trite, but she really enjoyed people! She was never afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger, and usually at the conclusion of those conversations the stranger and LaVerne had become friends. She had many favorite sayings (Onward, upward, and forward), and would often sprinkle her conversations with a word or two of German, (Sprechen sie deutsch?). Her enjoyment of people led her to volunteer at the library, hospital, and elementary schools, and to serve for a short period in the Logan Temple. LaVerne also had a great love for animals and still had three of her cats with her at her passing.

LaVerne is survived by Jerry; her children: David (Amber), Brian (Marie), Darren, Lynne (Ruben); and six grandchildren: Jenessa, Christopher, Galen, Tasha, Cameron, and Garrett. We wish to give a special thanks to the doctors, nurses, and assistants of Access Home Care and Hospice for their loving care of our mother. We love you Mom and we will miss you.

In honor of LaVerne’s request, no formal services will be held. Condolences may be sent to the family at