LaVera Marcet Viets, of Independence, Kansas, departed this life peacefully on October 11, 2021.
LaVera was born and baptized at home on April 28, 1927 in Brazilton, KS to John Henry and Martha Benefield Viets, and confirmed at the age of 13 into Zion Lutheran Church in Brazilton. The family moved to Independence during LaVera’s senior year of high school. After high school, she attended St. John’s College in Winfield, KS, training in both secretarial services and parish education. LaVera was part the Polyhymnia Choir, and also sang with the Choristers, a group that traveled regionally. She also served as student body secretary and as a residential aid during her second year.
Following graduation, Lavera moved to New Haven, Indiana to serve as an elementary teacher at the Emanual Lutheran Church. She was much loved and admired by students, parents and the community. During this time, she was also a member of the One Hundred Voice Choir, based in Ft. Wayne, IN, a group renowned for annual performances of St. Matthews Passion at Easter, and the Messiah at Christmas. Later she gained additional teacher training at Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska and taught elementary school in Leavenworth, Kansas.
In 1951, she was called home to Independence to join the staff at Sinclair Pipeline Company. During her 35-year tenure at Sinclair and ARCO, she worked as a secretary in the executive offices, and administrative assistant in employee relations, until her retirement in 1985. One of her favorite memories of this time was meeting Mickey Mantle and having her picture taken with him in the office of Sinclair’s President.
Throughout her adult life, LaVera traveled extensively, both at home and abroad, including memorable trips to Hawaii, the Holy Land, Scandinavia and the rare experience of attending a decennial performance of the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany.
She was a member of the Independence Unlimited Investment Club in Independence, served one term as Vice President, one term as President and then as Secretary until the group disbanded. She was an avid golfer and enthusiastic bridge player, and enjoyed a community of many friends and family. Over the years, one of her passions was building the family tree, spending hundreds of hours searching through archives and public records.
Throughout her life she was an active member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Independence, a Sunday School Teacher, a member of the choir, and of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.
Lavera is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Florine Marie Seevers and her brother Paul H. Viets. She is survived by her sisters Lois Mardene Emerson of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma and Carolyn Ann Pfotenhauer of Atlantic Beach, Florida, as well as twelve nieces and nephews.
A service in celebration of LaVera’s life will be held at 10 o’clock am, at Zion Lutheran Church, 215 S. Tenth Street, Independence, Kansas, on Friday, October 22, 2021, with Reverend Kevin M. Peterson presiding. Burial at Mount Hope Cemetery will follow under the care of Potts Chapel. Memorials are suggested to The Friends of Riverside Park, P.O. Box 9, Independence, Kansas 67301.