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LaVerna Rae (Miller) Conard
September 24, 1931 ~ August 18, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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LaVerna Rae (Miller) Conard was 91 when she joined her family in heaven on Aug. 18, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones.
LaVerna was born September 24, 1931, in Skedee, Oklahoma, to Verlon and Doris Butler Miller. She grew up with two sisters, Merelee and Oleta. As she started fourth grade, they moved to the Forest Grove area of Montana, where she attended country school through sixth grade. Her junior high school was in Grass Range and then high school in Lewistown. During her senior year of high school, she met Ray Conard and they were married two weeks after her graduation. They raised three daughters, Patti, Peggy and Aleta, and one son, Harvey.
LaVerna had many favorite interests which led her on numerous adventures. Cooking kept her friends and family close to her home (her apple pies were the best and her cinnamon bread was her legacy). At one point, she managed Little Big Man Pizza in Lewistown. Dancing, square dancing to be exact, led her and Ray to dance on the International Square Dance float in the Rose Bowl parade. When combined with her love of sewing, she had a square-dance apparel shop. where she sewed many dresses and shirts for her friends. Later, that shop evolved into the Gingerbear Quilt Shop, where friends and family spent many happy hours taking classes or just sharing projects in her “garage” classroom.
LaVerna loved her children and grandchildren, gardening, traveling, fabrics and painting, and had a special connection with animals. Her church was always her home and she served many years with ZLCW (Zion Lutheran Church Women) and Altar Guild at Zion Lutheran Church. In 2008, she moved to Billings and joined Atonement Lutheran Church. Her last years were spent at Saint John’s United, where staff and residents alike became her family as well.
LaVerna was the last of her generation on both sides of her family. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Oleta Delaney Olson and Merelee Gjerde Manuel; and her husband, Raymond Earl Conard. She is survived by her children, Patti (Phil) Pollard, Peggy Conard (Brian Davis), Aleta Wiedenman and Harvey Conard, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A private family celebration of her life will be planned for a later time and will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Lewistown.
In lieu of flowers and donations, we request that a tree or flowers be planted in her memory.