LaVera E. Bowen SimsMarch 17, 1923 - September 7, 2014LaVera Evelyn Ivey Bowen Sims was born on March 17, 1923, in Palmer, Nebraska. She passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 7, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.LaVera was the second of three children born to Clyde V. and Lillie Mae Francis Ivey. She was welcomed to the family by her older brother Vern, and she became a big sister when her little brother, Ronald, joined the family. LaVera grew up in rural Nebraska and graduated from high school at St. Edwards, Nebraska in 1940. Soon after the family moved to Nampa she began teaching first through eighth grades at the old Bennett School, south of town. Due to the shortage of teachers during World War II, she was hired to teach at the age of seventeen and taught through the end of the war. LaVera married Forrest Bowen on November 8, 1946. Four children blessed this marriage. She was a loving and attentive wife and mother, and she helped Forrest with his floor covering business. Forrest became ill and passed away suddenly on May 13, 1966. For the next two years LaVera focused her energies on raising her children. On June 17, 1968, she married long-time family friend Pat Sims and returned to Nebraska. Pat's five children completed their extended family.After five years LaVera and Pat moved back to Nampa and both worked locally. They relished their retirement years, and enjoyed golfing, working in their yard, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. They also delighted in celebrating their joint St. Patrick's Day birthdays! In 2002 LaVera spent a memorable three weeks touring Europe with her son Jerel and his family. She and Pat celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary one week before Pat passed away on June 24, 2013.LaVera will be remembered for her amazingly positive outlook on life, her ability to find humor in any situation or circumstance, her beautiful red hair, and her sweet laugh. Her family was her greatest joy, and she was the joy of her family and their guiding light!LaVera was preceded in death by both husbands, her brothers, one step-daughter, Patricia, one daughter-in-law, Peggy, and one son-in-law, Jim (Patricia's husband). She is survived by her children and step-children: Jerel (Sandy) Bowen, Ardel (Sherrie) Bowen, Ron (Sammie) Bowen, Tamara (Dave) Casey, Edwin (Patsy) Sims, Sandra (Gilbert) Bialas, Albert (Jane) Sims, and Darlene Sims. Twenty-three grandchildren and their spouses call her Grandma, as well as fifty-two great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by five sisters-in-law: Betty Ivey, Jeannie Bowen, Shirley Bowen, Lois Bowen, and Emily Sims, as well as multiple nieces, nephews, and cousins.LaVera was a member of First Christian Church, 619 12th Avenue South, in Nampa. A memorial service will be held there at 11:00 am on Friday, September 19, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nampa First Christian Church. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
The family extends their great appreciation to the staff at Sunnyridge Care Center, Pastor Steven Perotti, and her family and friends who visited her, called her, encouraged her, laughed with her (sometimes at her!) and in doing so enriched her life in countless ways. Thank you!!