Laverne grew up in Jena, Louisiana attending Jena High School and playing guard in the women’s varsity basketball team. At Jena High School, she met her first husband Shelby Lloyd Perkins who was on the men’s varsity basketball team. They married on September 29, 1951 in Good Pine, Louisiana before he served in the United States Army. After their first child was born, they moved to Texas City, Texas for Shelby to find work in one of the oil refineries. In Texas City, they had a second child. They were very active in the local Baptist church where they both sang in the choir. She was the first in her family to go to college attending Alvin Junior College where she graduated with honors. After her first husband passed away, Laverne married a second time to James (Jim) William McCluskey on December 24, 1962 in Galveston, Texas. Due to the requirement of her husband’s new job, they moved the family to Houston, Texas.
In Houston, Laverne attended the University of Houston and received both her undergraduate degree and her Master’s degree in education. She received numerous honors at the University of Houston including having one of the highest-grade point averages in her graduating class. Laverne got her first teaching job with Houston Independent School District and ended up teaching there for over 20 years, teaching 4th and 5th grades.
After retirement, Laverne and her husband Jim traveled. They loved the mountains of Colorado and Washington state and the northern California area. One of their greatest adventures was a hot air balloon flight over the vineyards of Napa Valley. She also loved to sew and she made clothes for her children and later in life she made beautiful quilts.
She is preceded in death by her parents Jake Henry Smith and Velma Benson Smith, her sisters Jean Stone and Marilyn Capps, her brothers Jake Henry Smith, Jr. and Harold Smith and both her husbands Shelby Lloyd Perkins and James William McCluskey.
Laverne is survived by her son, Lloyd Michael McCluskey and wife Jean, and two daughters, Emma Lynette Perkins and Susan Jimmie McCluskey, a grandson, Lloyd-William Michael McCluskey and wife Anita, and granddaughter, Kellie Jane McCluskey and Roberto Espinosa. She is also survived by her great-granddaughter Ziyana Raine Jafferali-McCluskey, whom she absolutely adored. She is also survived by her sister Wanda Parker and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A private viewing and graveside service will be held for immediate family. The pallbearers are Michael McCluskey, Kellie McCluskey, Roberto Espinosa, Michael McCluskey and Richard Parke.
In lieu of floral tributes, donations can be made to the Houston Sheltie Sanctuary Inc., PO Box 840235, Houston, TX 77284-0235.