LaVerne Tiernan

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 5:21 pm

LaVerne Tiernan, 92, of Decorah, died Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at the Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 9, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phillip Gibbs officiating. Lector was C.J. Tiernan. Organist was Mary Beth Bouska. Cantor was Cindy Schissel. Prior to Mass, LaVerne’s grandchildren sang “Grandma Loves Me” (written by LaVerne). Hymns were “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” “Prayer of St. Francis,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Ave Maria” and “God be with You till We Meet Again.” Offertory gift bearers were Chelsea Carlson, Siobhan Nelson, Cassie Kleinwolterink, Ashlee Tiernan, Alanda Meyer and Ciara Drtina. Casket bearers were Brendan Drtina, Zach Tiernan, Cameron Tiernan, Keghan Tiernan, Ryan Nelson and Erik Carlson. Interment was at St. Benedict’s Catholic Cemetery in Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home.

LaVerne Henrietta (Thompson) Tiernan was born Sept. 16, 1924, the daughter of Ole and Gusta (Blum) Thompson in Canoe township, rural Decorah. LaVerne graduated from Decorah High School in 1942. She worked at Grosser’s Cafe, the Bakery, Piggly Wiggly, Sandy’s Cafe and for Rosel’s and Rambo Pharmacy for over 15 years between the two. She was united in marriage to Giles Tiernan Jan. 9, 1954, in the Irish settlement at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cumming. LaVerne has been fortunate to have raised her family and lived in the same home for fifty-nine years. After the children were raised, she returned to Rambo Pharmacy and worked until she retired in 1988. LaVerne was an accomplished seamstress who sewed many bridesmaid and special occasion dresses as well as costumes. She also had a creative side where she baked elaborate birthday cakes for her family birthdays. Often, she would compose poems to accompany Christmas gifts or birthdays cards. She was a Boy and Girl Scout leader as well as a Decorah Kiltie Mother. She enjoyed volunteering for the Vesterheim Museum, the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) and St. Benedict Catholic School. She also enjoyed class breakfasts, dinners and birthday parties. But most of all she was a stay-at-home mom and loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and attending family get-togethers. LaVerne was a member of St. Benedict Catholic Church St. Marie’s Circle and a VFW Ladies Auxiliary member for 69 years.

LaVerne is survived by her four children: Dennis Tiernan, Cedar Rapids; Janet Tiernan, Burnsville, Minn.; Craig (Kris) Tiernan, Dubuque; and Karen Drtina, Ridgeway; 11 grandchildren: Chelsea (Erik) Carlson, Siobhan (Ryan) Nelson, Cassie Kleinwolterink, C.J. Tiernan, Ashlee Tiernan, Zachary Tiernan, Cameron Tiernan, Keghan Tiernan, Alanda (Brandon) Meyer, Brendan Drtina and Ciara (fiancé Tim Keck) Drtina; six great-grandchildren: Kara Dugan, Violet Nelson, Greta Nelson, Samuel Meyer, Jameson Meyer and Maxton Carlson; two sisters, Margaret Swanson, Richland, Wash. and Darlene Vine, Decorah; and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.  

LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents, Ole and Gusta (Blum) Thompson; her husband, Giles Tiernan, Oct. 31, 1988; one grandson, Sean Tiernan, in 1986; three brothers: Raymond Thompson in infancy, Harold (Ruth) Thompson and Orval Thompson; six sisters: Lucille (Robert) Walker, Gertruth (Nicholas) Kakos, Dorothy (George) Carroll, Francis (Orval) Haugen, Alice (Frederic) Reum and Beverly (Edward) Dickman.

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