LaVerne W. Estes

Godfrey | Friday, June 13 2014

LaVerne W. Estes of Godfrey, Illinois passed away June 13, 2014 at Alton Memorial Hospital, surrounded by her family, at the age of 89.  She was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 19, 1924 to Raymond and Matilda (Herter) Mueller of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.  She married Maurice “Marty” Estes on September 5, 1949 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Alton and he preceded her in death on April 29, 1998.

LaVerne grew up in Ste. Genevieve, Mo and graduated from St. Genevieve High School in 1943.  She attended DePaul Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, graduating in 1945.  LaVerne worked for many years at St. Joseph Hospital in Alton, where she was supervisor of the Delivery Room.  She later worked in the medical office of Dr. Peter McFarland as his nurse.

LaVerne and Marty moved from Alton to Godfrey in 1960. In 1967, LaVerne and Marty built Estes Kennels in Godfrey.  In addition to managing the kennel, LaVerne groomed dogs for several years.  Estes Kennels is still in operation under the ownership of their son Jim.  Upon his retirement, Marty became an auctioneer and he and LaVerne opened Tri County Auction Service, managing the company together.  

LaVerne loved going to auctions, rummage and garage sales, and looking for “treasures” to resell in her collectibles booth at the Alton Exchange. She loved animals, especially her pigmy goats, and enjoyed family gatherings and gardening.  

LaVerne was a faithful member of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Godfrey.  She also believed in giving back to her community and volunteered for the Arms of Love, the American Red Cross, and various church activities as long as she was able. 

She enjoyed and appreciated her friends and the staff at Provisions Living.

LaVerne loved her family deeply and was proud of and thankful for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She considered her family her greatest accomplishment.

She is survived, and will be deeply missed, by all seven of her children, Kaye (David) Iftner of Pittsfield, IL, Bob (Mary) Estes of Godfrey, IL, Ed (Marsha) Estes of Godfrey, IL, Kevin (Ellen) Estes of Godfrey, IL,  Jim (Penny) Estes of Godfrey, IL, Tom (Diane) Estes of Godfrey, IL, and Jane (Dean) Schmeling of Centennial, CO; thirteen grandchildren, Carol (Todd) VanVoorhis, Amy (Shawn) Bloemker, Cindy Estes, Melissa (Travis) Busan, Brian (Missy) Estes, Michael Estes, Ashley (Joel) Gibson, Emily Estes, Stephen Estes, Matthew Estes, Jaden Schmeling, Mariah Schmeling, and Jaxson Schmeling; and eight great-grandchildren, Abby VanVoorhis, Sam VanVoorhis, Will VanVoorhis, Max Bloemker, Nora Busan, Kennedy Busan, Adelyn Estes, and Rylan Estes.

She is also survived by one brother, Raymond (Anna Mae) Mueller of Ste. Genevieve, MO and one sister, Betty (Firman) Henderson of Mentor, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her husband Marty, a beloved granddaughter, Sydney Schmeling, her parents, Raymond and Matilda (Herter) Mueller of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, four brothers and one sister.

Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, 2014 and will continue from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Thursday, June 19, 2014 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Godfrey.  Father Steve Pohlman will officiate.  Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Godfrey.  Memorials can be made to the Arms of Love, or to the American Red Cross.  Online guestbook and information may be found at

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