Eldene LaVerne Hearns, 88, of Oxford, passed away peacefully in her home on November 5, 2020 surrounded by all five of her children. She was born on December 18, 1931 in Hamtramck, Michigan, the daughter of the late Antoinette (Sirekis) and Delmar Osborne.
LaVerne grew up in Troy, Michigan and spent many good times in her youth in Grayling at her family’s cabin on the AuSable River. She attended Michigan State University and was always driven and a hard worker. She was part of the work force at a time when it wasn’t common for women to work outside the home, and one of her earliest jobs (which she often spoke fondly of) was working the soda counter at Sanders. She also loved being the office manager at Falvey Imported Cars in Detroit, where she bought her first MG and developed an appreciation for sports cars.
She married Joe Hearns, the love of her life, on September 27, 1958 in Troy, Michigan. After they married, LaVerne and Joe co-owned and ran an A&W restaurant in Troy. In the late 1960s, they bought a cabin on Torch Lake in Northern Michigan, and in the early 1970s they moved their growing family to live there permanently. LaVerne enjoyed years of working in Northern Michigan where she started several small businesses of her own while also helping Joe run Torch Lake Carpet in Bellaire, Michigan. In the early 1990s, LaVerne and Joe “retired” to Florida where they started Great Lakes Carpet & Tile in The Villages, which became a family business after their children migrated south.
LaVerne had a keen artistic eye, and her talents shone especially when it came to interior design and painting. She also loved to dance and used to teach at the Arthur Murry Dance Studio in Royal Oak. She had a love for travel and went on many trips around the world with Joe, her kids, and grandchildren. She was selfless, always putting Joe and her kids and grandkids first, whether it was lending a helping hand or cheering them on from the sidelines. She had a delightful—and sometimes surprisingly racy—sense of humor and was always up for a bit of fun. She was a favorite of many of her kids’ friends. She was also an alumnae charter member of Alpha Phi International fraternity, the first sorority established for women.
LaVerne lived in Oxford in her retirement years where she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, both locally and in Seattle. She loved the summers she spent back at Torch Lake with her kids and grandkids, and the family will treasure those memories with her forever.
She is survived by five children, Dawn (Bill) Cary of Oxford, Florida, Daniel (Tamsin) Hearns of Oxford, Florida, Darren (Donita) Hearns of Ocala, Florida, DJ Hearns of Oxford, Florida, and Deanna (Jeremiah) Hearns of Seattle, WA, fifteen grandchildren: Nick, Nathan, Morgan, Joseph, Emily, Kyle, Katie, Erin, Liam, Jordan, Kelsey, Addy, Tess, Cora, Aidan and seven great grandchildren: Ashley, Anahi, Jose Jr, Evelyn, Isabella, Emma, and Sawyer.
LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents, Antoinette and Delmar Osborne, her husband Joe Hearns, her sister Rosalie Sorter, and a special cousin Ellen Weber.
Celebration of life and mass will be held Tuesday November 10, at 11:00 AM at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Wildwood, FL, followed by a luncheon for friends and family at Colony Cottage at 510 Colony Boulevard, The Villages.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name to The Buffalo Scholarship Foundation (251 Buffalo Trail, The Villages, FL, 32162, 352- 259-2350) and/or Catholic Charities (1819 N Semoran Blvd, Orlando, FL 32807, 407-306-8783).