OBITUARY

Laverne Barbara DeMartini

August 28, 1928February 27, 2018
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Laverne Barbara DeMartini was born on August 28, 1928 and passed away on February 27, 2018 in Petaluma, California.

Services

  • Memorial Service Monday, March 19, 2018
REMEMBERING

Laverne Barbara DeMartini

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Biography

Laverne was born Laverne Barbara DeMartini on August 28, 1928 in San Francisco to Louis and Irene DeMartini. She was their second child. Unfortunately medical mistakes made during the birthing process would leave her deaf and with a withered arm. These problems would provide a constant lifelong challenge that she overcame with resolve and dignity.

Laverne grew up in the North Beach area of San Francisco with her parents and older brother Louis. As a youngster she attended the Gough Oral School for the Deaf from Kindergarten through sixth grade. She learned to read lips as a method of communication as opposed to signing. Laverne was a good student both academically and socially. She then attended the Presidio Middle school for 7th through 9th grades and then two years at George Washington High School which supported deaf students.

In 1945 at the age of 17, Laverne and four of her friends from George Washington High School were recruited by I. Magnin department store to work in the back office as clerical workers. She continued to work for I. Magnin for over thirty years. Diminishing eye sight forced her to retire from the job she loved. Pictures of her retirement party at work captured an emotional farewell.

Through out her adult life Laverne traveled extensively in America and Europe. She accompanied her parents on multiple trips to Europe, the Eastern United States, and Hawaii. Her vacations were documented in many scrapbooks which included pictures, itineraries, notes, and postcards. The scrapbooks also documented her extended family and friends through the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s along with family gatherings like Christmas and Easter in the 60’s, 70s and 80’s. Besides the pictures, Laverne had a prolific memory and could be counted on to know names, birthdays, anniversaries, and other significant dates of family and friends.

The journals also show Laverne’s other interest, shopping. In all of the pictures as well as her normal life she was always fashionably dressed. Her wardrobe was influenced by the Hollywood magazines she bought, and funded by her hefty discount from I. Magnin and Macy’s department stores.

Despite her physical limitations Laverne lived a full life in San Francisco with the help of her mother Irene who cared for her until she passed at the age of 101. In 2003 Laverne purchased a condo in Novato CA. With the help of her brother Louis, and a number of live-in caregivers Laverne was able to continue shopping, dining out, and attending the many social functions at the senior condo complex. In late 2016 Laverne and her devoted caregiver Lucy Lalabalavu moved to Penngrove CA to reside with her brother.


Laverne is survived by her brother Louis DeMartini Jr., her niece and god daughter Debra Wagner, her nephew Louis DeMartini and his wife Kathy, and her niece Lori Wise and her husband Rahn. Laverne had four grand nieces and nephews, Anthony Wise, Curtis Wise (deceased), Steven DeMartini, and Stacey DeMartini.