LaVerne Glaze: Avid hunter, skilled basket weaver, and respected keeper/teacher of her Karuk people’s traditions

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LaVerne Frances Glaze


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.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in LaVerne’s name can made to the Endowment for Eco-Cultural Revitalization through the Humboldt Area Foundation.LaVerne Frances Glaze



  • Condolences to her loved ones. I knew her as a weaver, but I’m not surprised to read about her diverse background. Her dedication to keeping traditional ways alive and strong had influence beyond her own culture, and will reverberate for generations. Thank you, LaVerne, for all your work!

  • What a great lady!my condolences to the family’s.

  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    What an awesome tribute to such an honorable lady. Condolences to her entire family, friends and the communities in which she contributed so very much.

  • She sounds like a worthy woman.

  • ‘LaVerne Glaze – An Eye On The Future’
    Two Rivers Tribune, December 12th, 2014

  • I will miss you dearly Great Auntie LaVerne!

  • Great Woman

  • The major highlight of my environment protection career is having the good fortune in meeting and working with LaVerne in protecting natural resources from herbicide contamination.

    LaVerne was most generous in sharing her knowledge and providing her calm & wise guidance throughout a very successful collaborative five-year projects. She saw us through many meetings, discussions, field trips, and sampling events to determine herbicide residues in water and plant materials. She extended her friendship and invited us and included us in many tribal cultural events. These moments will forever treasured.

    When I take hikes in the woods and came across acorns on the ground, fruitful bushes of huckleberries, verdant patches of ferns, and stream-side full of willows, I always think of LaVerne and all the stories and cultural riches and spirituality associated with these wondrous gifts that she so generously shared.

    LaVerne, I’m so fortunate and grateful, and my life enriched in knowing you.

    • Sara Greensfelder

      Kean- This is a very moving tribute to LaVerne, and I have heard from other government employees that working with traditional basketweavers was a highlight of their careers. LaVerne was a special woman, and it is quite touching to hear that you think of her when hiking in the woods. Best wishes, Sara Greensfelder (former CIBA ED)

  • Condolences to the family.

  • Thank you for all your accomplishments , may our young women model after you, our future generations depend on it.
    My condolences to friends & family..

  • Sara Greensfelder

    I just learned of LaVerne’s death today (July 23, 2017), as I mentioned to a friend that I’d been thinking of calling her. I’m so sorry to hear this news. I got to know LaVerne and her daughter, Renee, when they both served on the board of the California Indian Basketweavers Association (of which I was ED at the time.) I counted her as a friend, and visited her home a couple of times, not to mention spending many nights together in hostels during board meetings and meeting up at numerous basketweavers gatherings. I loved her dedication to tradition, her feistiness, and her humor. And I was always impressed whenever she told us she had gone out hunting and come home with another buck. My condolences to her family and friends.

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