LaVerne Eva Georgina was born on Wednesday, April 8, 1936, in Owen Sound, to proud parents Leslie and Georgina (Woods) Summers. She was the eldest of ten children and soon welcomed younger siblings LeRoy, Ruby, Marian, Gary, Linda, Paul, Pauline, Catherine, and Bradley. The Summers’ children resided with their parents on the outskirts of Owen Sound where LaVerne attended both public and high school.
Following high school, LaVerne followed her heart and faithful upbringing and traveled west to attend Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. Upon returning to Owen Sound, she began working as a teller in a local bank. During this time period, LaVerne was introduced to a man by the name of John Archibald “Archie” McMillan. In fact, their siblings acted as matchmakers as LaVerne’s sister, Ruby, and Archie’s brother, Cliff, arranged the meeting at their church. The two hit it off immediately and soon began dating. LaVerne welcomed Archie’s young daughter, Lynda (1949), with open arms and the three formally became a family when Archie and LaVerne were married on Saturday, August 3, 1957, at the Alliance Church in Owen Sound. The McMillans first settled on 8th Ave. in Owen Sound, staying for about a year, before relocating to Nelson St. in Paisley, in 1958. LaVerne quickly found work at the local basket factory, however, their family soon began to grow with the arrival of Ruth (1960) and David (1964). As one can expect, her young family kept LaVerne quite busy as she worked hard to provide for her family. In 1976, the McMillans moved into their new home on Alma St., remaining there for many years.
The McMillans enjoyed camping and exposed their kids to these adventures during their youth. However, years later, Archie and LaVerne also treasured taking the grandkids, packing up the tent trailer, and heading to Stayner Family Camp & Christian Retreat Centre. Many memories were made during these adventures and will live on in storytelling for years to come. LaVerne also enjoyed spending time in her garden and caring for her flowers and flowerbeds. Painting, as well as reading, were other favourable pastimes when time allowed it. Although never particular, some of LaVerne’s preferences when it came to reading were novels about animals, biographies, anything about the Royal family, the occasional romance, and of course anything faith based. In fact, if you were to walk into the library at Paisley Missionary Church, you would be hard-pressed to find a book that LaVerne had not read.
LaVerne’s faith and church played a vital part in her life. Upon arriving in Paisley, the McMillans became active members of the Missionary Church. Rarely did they miss a Sunday, as LaVerne became actively involved. She taught Sunday School for several years and who could forget her involvement in Operation Christmas Child, packing countless shoeboxes for underprivileged kids around the world at Christmas. She was also active in a variety of different roles and activities throughout the years as well as being a member of the Women’s Missionary Society. Honestly, if there was a need at church or in the community, LaVerne was always there to offer a helping hand. Her kind heart, caring, and helpful ways will always be remembered.
Although not big travelers, LaVerne and Archie often traveled west to visit Lynda and her family. They also experienced Bermuda and enjoyed a cruise in later years, but truthfully they were most comfortable at home and in their own space. LaVerne loved animals and enjoyed the companionship of a few dogs, including Mimsy, Champ, and Snoopy as well as several cats through the years. Her appreciation of animals didn’t end there as she enjoyed a variety of animal programming on television as well as Disney productions and The Waltons. When it came to music, LaVerne could often be found listening to the likes of Roy Rogers or a variety of Christian music. When it came to treating herself, LaVerne had a noticeable soft spot for ice cream, particularly butterscotch.
Spending time with family and friends was always a highlight for LaVerne, as she treasured this time dearly. In more recent years, she loved to see and hear stories, and about the accomplishments of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sadly, in the late 1980’s, LaVerne experienced a stroke as well as a heart attack within a short period, which forever changed her future. She received much love and support from her family, friends, and community, making the most out of every day. In 2015, LaVerne and Archie downsized to rental property in Paisley, before making the move to Summit Place in Owen Sound in May of 2016 for more care. Sadly, Archie passed away in July of 2017 and LaVerne struggled through a period of adjustment, as she grieved her husband and became accustomed to her new surroundings. In time, she became very comfortable in her new home and enjoyed spending time with the other residents and staff alike. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, LaVerne’s health had declined further, and she passed away at Summit Place on Thursday, March 9, 2023, in her 87th year.
Loving mother of Lynda (Richard) Carm of Calgary, Ruth (Gary) Richards of Strathroy, and David (Tim) of Port Elgin. She will be fondly remembered by her grandchildren Shawn, Shelley, Jonathan, Danial, Amanda, and great-grandchildren Justin, Tyler, Taylor, Arianna, Logan, Vanessa, Olivia, Brennan, and Amberly. LaVerne will be dearly missed by her siblings, Gary Summers, Bradley Summers, Linda (Vern) Boyes, all of Kitchener, Pauline Summers of Strathmore, Alberta, and Catherine Summers (Irvin Peters) of Port Elgin. She was predeceased by her husband Archie (2017), sisters Marian Steere, Ruby Bruer, brothers Paul Summers, LeRoy Summers, and her parents Leslie and Georgina (Woods) Summers.
A memorial service honouring LaVerne’s life will be held at Paisley Missionary Church on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 1 p.m. Spring inurnment in Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Paisley Missionary Church or Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.