March 13, 1927 – August 20, 2011

Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, Ca.

Laverne Joy (Howard) Straka passed away peacefully in her home on August 20, 2011. She was born on March 13, 1927, the second-born daughter of Jesse (Jake) and Jessie Viola Howard in Slocum, Texas.  She attended grade school there, and later attended college at Southwestern Junior College in Keene, Texas. 


LaVerne resided in Keene, until she married and moved away from the family home.  Sons Sandy Gene and Sam soon entered her life.  After living in Houston and Dallas, she relocated to Glendale, California in the 50’s, where she lived the rest of her life-- more than fifty years.


After moving to California, LaVerne remarried, and her third son William (Billy) was born.  During these early years in California she began working in the Accounting Department at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.  She worked there until her retirement in the 70’s.


A later marriage to Gene Straka brought her much happiness and two step-daughters, Michelle and Claire.  During these years she and Gene enjoyed traveling and playing golf--touring Europe, Canada, and most of the United States.  Avid golfers, they were members of the Wilshire Country Club and the Oakmont Country Club.   They had been married over twenty years when Gene became ill and passed away.


A life-long member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, she attended the Glendale City Seventh-day Adventist Church.  LaVerne supported this church with her heart and her money.  In addition to her support of the church, she volunteered at The Tea House in Brand Park and helped care for elderly neighbors until her own health became fragile.


LaVerne is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Eloise and Patsy, her brother Randy DeWayne, her nephew Don Brooks, her husbands, and her sons Sam and Billy.

LaVerne is survived by the following: brother, Ron Howard and wife Janet; son, Sandy Gene Bunyard and wife Mary; daughter-in-law, Sharon M. Easterday; step-daughters, Michelle Straka and Claire Straka-Ellis; grandsons, Patrick Easterday, Jacob (Jake) Bunyard, Jesse Bunyard, Michael Crickmore, and Ian Crickmore; granddaughters, Sylvia Ruhl, Jennie Bunyard Thornton,  and Sierra Gribble; great-granddaughter, Zazou Pitts; and great-grandson, Sammy Thornton.


Service will be held on September 3 at 3:00pm at the Glendale City Seventh Day Adventist Church on East California; internment will immediately follow at Forest Lawn in Glendale.

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