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LaVerne Erma Fredenberg

April 4, 1933 ~ March 14, 2019 (age 85)

LaVerne (Bruyer) Fredenberg, 85

LaVerne E. Bruyer was born April 4, 1933, in her Grandmother Bauer’s house on Whitefish Stage.  She was the oldest child of Ben Bruyer and Erma (Bauer) Bruyer, both of whom were born in the Flathead to pioneer families north of Kalispell. She left us March 14, 2019, after a relatively brief battle with liver cancer.

LaVerne grew up, with her only sibling and younger sister Dorothy, on her family’s farm along the Stillwater River bottom. Following a major flood in the spring of 1948, the family moved their entire home and belongings from what is now the 13th Hole of Buffalo Hills Golf Course “up the hill” to a new home close to Whitefish Stage. She attended school at Edgerton and St. Matthews and graduated in the Flathead High Class of 1952, part of a close group with which she maintained many friendships throughout her life.

After a couple of years working for an optometrist she attended a dance in Whitefish and was asked to the dance floor by a dark haired handsome man. She was smitten and thus began the lifelong journey of Roger and LaVerne Fredenberg. They were married May 12, 1954 while Roger was in the U.S. Navy and spent their honeymoon year in San Diego.

Roger had searched for the kind of wife he wanted and found what he was looking for, a woman who would be a great mother to their five children (Mark, Wade, Kevin, Ben and Jovita) who came along in rapid order after they returned to live in Kalispell in 1955. Roger was the 15th of 16 children and somehow LaVerne adjusted seamlessly, going from a small family to becoming part of the Flathead’s largest tribe. She formed lifelong bonds with her many Sister-in-Laws and abundant nieces and nephews and will be missed at their monthly luncheons. The same was true with her lifelong relationships with the ladies of her “Home Demonstration Club.”

LaVerne was a great listener and was always ready to give her time and love to those who needed to be heard. She was so kind and mellow that the small handful of times she ever got upset or angry became part of the family lore.  She loved her daughters-in-law Susie, Linda, Judy and Patty and son-in-law Lonny as if she had chosen them herself.

After her cancer diagnosis she was able to reflect back on her selfless life and pronounced that she was ready because: “My cup is full.”  Her peaceful passing, surrounded by family at her home, was 20 years almost to the day after Roger died and she was ready for their reunion. We learned through the life of LaVerne that the happiest people are not the richest or most famous, but those who are the least selfish and the most accepting of the flaws in others. She was a life-long member of St. Matthews Catholic Church, and also attended services in the parish of Risen Christ Catholic Church the last few years with her family. 

LaVerne loved nothing more than helping her Granddaughters and Great Granddaughters (to whom she was GG) dress up and show off their jewelry and costumes. She always left the house looking nice. A full wardrobe of blue and pink and purple apparel with dozens of pairs of tiny shoes is left behind. The best of times were spent at the Fredenberg Family Cabin in the woods near Olney. For LaVerne, nothing was more important than gathering the family for the 4th of July and other significant life events.

LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents and husband Roger (1999) and is survived by her five children, fifteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren: Oldest son Mark and his wife Susie with their three children Amanda (Joel) Rasmussen and daughters Julia and Evie; Sara (Andy) Smith and daughters Hattie and Clara; Carter and wife Rebecca. Second son Wade and his wife Linda, with their boys Brian and Kurt and daughter-in-law Christine. Middle son Kevin and his wife Judy, son Paul and daughter Kate. Youngest son Ben, his four boys David, Sam, Noah, Abraham, and daughter Molly. Daughter Jovita, son-in-law Lonny Kottraba and their three daughters and families; Lindsay (Landon) Godfrey, son Owen and daughters Quinn, and Isla; Krista (Kevin) Pancich and daughters Emerson and Finley; Kelsey (Bryce) Hattel, daughter Charlotte and sons Fletcher and Oliver. She also leaves behind many beloved relatives in the extended Frehse, Sweeney, Walter and Fredenberg clans.

A Vigil Service with time for sharing and reminiscing will be held Friday, March 22 at 7:30 PM at Risen Christ Catholic Church in Evergreen.  A Catholic Funeral Mass, followed by a luncheon, will be Saturday at 10:30 AM, also at Risen Christ Church. Graveside services will be private. In lieu of sending flowers, please consider donations to WINGS Regional Cancer Support in Kalispell. Friends are encouraged to visit our website at www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory caring for the family.

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