Lavern Frances Keenan

Lavern Frances Keenan, 82, of Dayton, Texas, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones. She was born on September 11, 1941, in LaPorte, Texas, to Lawrence Baxter McWhorter and Claudia Frances Cline McWhorter. Lavern spent the last 48 years of her life in Dayton, after residing in Highlands.

Lavern was a devoted homemaker, known for her selfless nature and quiet strength. She found joy in various hobbies, including sewing, painting figurines, decoupage, crafting ceramic figurines, and creating chess sets out of lead, painting each piece with care. Lavern was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and was passionate about community initiatives. She played a significant role in projects such as the Tree of Angels of Liberty County, a program benefiting families affected by the loss of murdered children, and the charter of the Old Tyme Days of Dayton.

Lavern cherished the outdoors, finding solace in sitting outside and riding her beloved horse, “Trash Can Charlie,” bareback, exploring the world together. She also enjoyed engaging in games like 42, Sudoku, and video games like Pac Man and Red Alert. Her warm and caring nature endeared her to all who knew her, and she was a loving mother, grandmother, and friend.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jerry Keenan, Sr., her sons Leslie Ledford and James Ledford, and her grandchild, Jesse “Jay” Grider. Lavern is survived by her children, Carla Prieto and husband Rod, Debbie Hopkins and fiancé James Allard, as well as her grandchildren Tod Hopkins, Amanda Hopkins, Morgan Hopkins, Trinity Willaby, Tracy Barnes, Justin Willaby, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She is also survived by her step-sons Rod Keenan and family, Terry Keenan and family, and Jerry Keenan and family.

Visitation to celebrate Lavern’s life will be held on Thursday, October 12, 2023, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton, Texas. A service to honor her memory will take place on Friday, October 13, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Pace Stancil Dayton. No graveside service will follow.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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