Laverne Verlene (Peschel) Dehnel, was born Oct. 6, 1927 in Oak Hill, Texas, the youngest child of Hugo and Adela (Schiller) Peschel. She attended the one-room Oak Hill School through the eighth grade at which time she began working full time on the family farm. Not one to boast, if asked though, she’d tell you she could out-pick the men during cotton season. In 1944, just shy of her 17th birthday and with the money she earned picking cotton, she moved to town (Bellville) where she promptly was hired as a waitress at Riniker’s Café. The following year while working at Mewis’s Cafe, she waited on a young sailor, Fred Dehnel from Bellville, whom was on leave. Upon returning to duty, Fred and LaVerne wrote one another every day (sometimes multiple times a day) until his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in January 1946. And it was through this correspondence a strong bond and enduring love for one another was formed. On March 12, 1946, Fred and LaVerne were joined in marriage during an intimate ceremony held in Bellville by the then Lutheran Pastor. Fred and LaVerne were married for more than 52 years until his passing in 1998.
LaVerne was a devoted wife and dutiful mother to Lana and Sharon. A strong sense of family led to her role as homemaker until her youngest was in high school at which time she reentered the workforce at a local restaurant. This opportunity quickly led to a managerial position and then ultimately led to her managing The Hollywood Shop. Though she often said her most important role was of wife, mother, and grandmother, it was at The Hollywood Shop her keen sense of retail business, her eye for fashion and style, and her social adeptness were on full display. From memory she could recall all of her customers’ sizes and was able to place orders accordingly to ensure the ladies of Bellville and surrounding communities looked their best. hough her personalization and attention to detail served her well in business and at home, she could always see the forest beyond the trees. For it was in the forest life was lived. And LaVerne enjoyed a full life.
LaVerne was a life-long member of St. John Lutheran Church of Bellville. She volunteered a great deal at St. John’s over her life and was particularly proud of assisting with after-funeral service refreshments and baking bread used in Holy Communion. Maybe because it highlighted two of the things she enjoyed and took pride in – serving God and others, as well as baking. Though she never entered her baked goods or home cooked dishes in any competition, those that were lucky to have a bite would surely consider them blue ribbon worthy. Additionally, she volunteered at Colonial Bell Nursing Home for several years where she brought her sunny disposition and compassion to engage residents in joyful interactions, games, and fellowship. The residents always lit-up when LaVerne came to visit.
LaVerne had a handful of hobbies over the years, but she took enormous pride in her vegetable garden, flower beds, baking, cooking, but mostly being a homemaker to her family. LaVerne equally liked trying new things. And she enjoyed them even more when getting to share with family and friends. To those that knew her best, she was quite adventurous. But for all those things she enjoyed, it was her sense of and duty to her family she took the greatest pride in.
She attended church regularly and was an active volunteer in Ruth Circle. She was also active in VFW Auxiliary, Bellville Garden Club, and Colonial Bell Nursing Home Volunteers. She credited God’s blessing, an active lifestyle, and fellowship with family and friends for keeping her on the go in her senior years.
LaVerne was called to be with the Lord on December 9, 2018, at the age of 91. She is kept in loving memory by her daughters: Lana Fricke of Bellville and Sharon Stanford and husband Clayton of Bellville; grandchildren: April Fricke of San Antonio; Rhett Fricke of Ballinger; and Clint Stanford and wife Savanna of Sealy; great grandchildren: Bryce Stanford and Paige Stanford. Also included in her family are many nieces, nephews, and cousins. LaVerne was preceded in death by her husband: Fred Dehnel; parents: Hugo and Adela (Schiller) Peschel; her three sisters: Erna Huebner, Adina Schiller, and Goldie Kaase; brother: Hardin Peschel; niece: Erline Schiller; and nephew: Curtis Huebner.
Pallbearers: Darcy Dehnel, Rhett Fricke, Craig Hoffmeyer, Larry Huebner, Chris Kaase, Don Norris, Matt Norris, and Clint Stanford. Honorary Pallbearers: Jerald Jolly, Richard Jolly and Glenn Kaase.
The family sincerely thanks Dr. Don Bosse, Dr. Bradly Bundrant, Dr. Alan Hardwicke, and everyone at Ballinger Memorial Hospital for the tremendous and compassionate care LaVerne received throughout her life and especially in her final months.
Visitation was held Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. at Knesek Family Funeral Chapel in Bellville. Funeral services were Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018 at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Bellville with Pastor Andrew Bell officiating. Graveside interment followed at Oak Knoll Cemetery in Bellville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in LaVerne’s name to: Boy Scout Troop 36/ c/o St. John Lutheran Church of Bellville//520 N. Holland/ Bellville, TX 77418.