May 25, 1917 - April 26, 2010
LaVerne (Verne) Demaris of 904 S.E. Second Ave., Milton-Freewater, died April 26, 2010, in Walla Walla at the age of 92. Funeral services will not be held at Verne's request. Munselle-Rhodes, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater is in charge of the arrangements.
LaVerne (Verne) Demaris was born in Cache Hollow, Milton-Freewater, on May 25, 1917, the son of James H. and Grace Irene (Birdsell) Demaris. He attended schools in the area and graduated form McLoughlin High School. In 1936, he entered the Civilian Conservation Corps and served there until 1937 as a sawyer. Verne joined the U.S. Marine Corps on Dec 11, 1941. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater from January 1943 to May 1945. He saw action on Bouganville Island, British Solomon Islands; Guam, Mariana Islands, Iwo Jima and Volcano Islands. He was wounded in action on Iwo Jima with phosphorus burns. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps on Sept. 17 1945, as a sergeant. He received a Purple Heart, a Commendation Medal, a World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, and a Honorable Service Lapel Pin for his service to our country.
He returned to Milton-Freewater and was employed by Rogers Cannery and Key Equipment for many years until his retirement. He also operated an orchard on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River. LaVerne married Juanita Harris Ramsey of Milton-Freewater. She later preceded him in death.
He is survived by stepgrandaughters Dana Pace of Bothel, Wash.; Cami Eastep and Dr. Melisa Ramsey-Carmi of Walla Walla, Wash.; and a nephew, James Gibbons, and a niece, Sherri Marr.
His parents, sisters Jean and Frances and stepsons Dan and Dennis all preceded him in death.