LaVerne Glaze: Avid hunter, skilled basket weaver, and respected keeper/teacher of her Karuk people’s traditions
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LaVerne Frances Glaze, 84, of Orleans travelled peacefully to the spirit world to join those who went before her on January 5, 2017. She passed in her own home, surrounded by family.
LaVerne was born at the Ferris Ranch in Orleans on April 18, 1932 to Isadore “Ike” Marion Ferris and Dora Frances (Sanderson) Ferris, the youngest of 5 children.
LaVerne attended elementary school in Orleans then 2 years of High School at Sherman Indian School in Riverside, California before returning home to attend and graduate from Hoopa Valley High School.
LaVerne worked hard her entire life beginning as a millworker at Orleans Plywood for many years before moving to Eureka where she worked for Georgia Pacific Sawmill before purchasing Sandy Bar Ranch Resort in Orleans and returning home to the river.
In the early 1970’s, LaVerne was instrumental in forming the Karuk Tribal Government and worked toward helping the Tribe attain Federal recognition while serving as Tribal Chairwoman.
An avid hunter, skilled basket weaver, and respected keeper/teacher of her Karuk people’s traditions, LaVerne helped to maintain the life of her culture by passing her knowledge on to the younger generation. She learned to weave in the 70’s when she took a class taught by Ella Johnson and Lee Marshall, much to the delight of her Grandmother, Nancy Sanderson, who was also a basket maker. LaVerne carried on with weaving, teaching it in the schools and the community until her declining health made it impossible to continue.
She was also a strong advocate for responsible land management and was heavily involved in cultural burning programs for the maintenance of forest health and care of basket materials, working with local Tribes and agencies.
LaVerne served on the California Indian Basketweavers Association Board of Directors for 8 years. She worked tirelessly on gathering and pesticide issues that indigenous weavers were facing at that time. She also partnered each year with the Karuk Tribe, USFS, BLM and Caltrans to hold a basketweaving camp called Following the Smoke where she created many new friendships and maintained those she had in the weaving community, developing a special closeness to Ken Wilson and Frank Lake.
She is preceded in death by her parents Isadore and Dora Ferris, her brothers, Wilfred, Leslie and Clifford Ferris, her sister, Dorothy Jordan, granddaughter Amy McLaughlin and “adopted son” and hunting partner Dale Mendes.
She is survived by her children, Renee Stauffer, Clifford McLaughlin and Deanna Marshall, grandchildren Jessica Stauffer, Jennifer Jackson, Angela McLaughlin, Leslie McLaughlin, Jess McLaughlin, James McLaughlin, Clifford Marshall and Dori Marshall, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and “adopted son” Jeremiah Mendes.
The family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Karuk Medical Clinic for their loving and competent care. Also, a special thanks to her grandchildren and other family members who helped care for her so she should could remain in her home: Alexis Rush, Les McLaughlin & Julia McKinnon, Clifford Marshall, Jennifer Jackson and Martha McLaughlin.
A celebration of LaVerne’s life will be held on January 21, 2017 in the Orleans Elementary School Gymnasium at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow at the Mid Klamath Watershed Council in Orleans.