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1933 Mildred 2023

Mildred Lavern Koehler

March 6, 1933 — April 17, 2023

Mildred LaVern (Brunson) Koehler was born to Marcus Daniel and Nora Ellen

Brunson on March 6, 1933 in Blue, Oklahoma. She passed away on April 27,

2023. Always one to do things her own way she attended her celebration of life on

March 4, 2023 with family and friends attending her 90 th birthday party and had

requested that there be no funeral or memorial service.

She was the youngest of seven children born in a span of ten years. Asked once

about where her name came from, she replied “As the youngest of seven Mom was

out of names. When I was born there were two midwives and one had a daughter

named Mildred the other had a daughter named LaVern.” She was known to her

family as Vern.

The family moved several times and were near Wright City, Oklahoma when she

began school. Moving again in 1947 to Kilgore, Texas. Early life on the farm was

tough but through the depression they always had food on the table.

In late May 1950 LaVern with her parents loaded the car and headed to her older

brother, Bob’s college graduation. Early in the trip two hitchhiking Air Force

Airmen were spotted. Stopping to pick them up John Koehler got into the back

seat with LaVern and they hit it off. John gave her a card that read “I’d like to

make a date with you. If the answer is YES just keep this card and if the answer is

NO, just hand it back.” She still has that card. John visited on weekends and on

July 5, 1950 he proposed. In September he was transferred to Denver. LaVern

graduated from Kilgore High school May 31, 1951, took a train to Denver,

Colorado and married John on June 8, 1951. The ceremony was very small with

only the two that stood up with them and an altar boy sitting at the back of the

room. John Jr joined the family, born in Denver.

John Sr. left the Air Force in 1953 and they moved to Longview, WA to be closer to

her family. The family increased again with the birth of daughter Margie Ruth.

Saving the best for last, Roslyn DaNell was born a couple of years later.

LaVern was involved in her children’s activities, being president of the Wallace

Grade school PTA, Assistant Girl Scout Leader and Rainbow Mother Advisor. She

also was Worthy Matron of Maple Chapter OES and a Life Member. On her 40 th

birthday she had 40 Rainbow girl members in attendance at a regular meeting.

She worked in banking for more than 20 years. When they retired in 1996, they

bought a motor home and spent the next twelve years traveling around the country

and they were proud to say that they visited all 50 states.

When their 50 th anniversary drew near her mother told LaVern that she should

have the kids start planning their party. To which she replied “My kids probably

won’t know where I am on my 50 th ”. When LaVern told her daughter this, the

response was that the “kids” had discussed it and along with spouses the six of us

wanted to take them for a Caribbean cruise. It was a fun time for all of us. In 2007

they gave up the motorhome and settled down again in the Longview area. When

it came time for their 60 th anniversary LaVern and John decided it would be a good

time to have a recommitment ceremony. LaVern called it her wedding and it was

complete with wedding gown and tuxedo. It was another fun celebration for all.

A few years later, 2014, John passed away from cancer and LaVern was on her own

in an assisted living facility. The caregivers were excellent and much appreciated.

She had a profound influence on the many young ladies that called her “Mom”

and will long be remembered. We miss you, Mama. Rest in peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mildred Lavern Koehler, please visit our flower store.


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