LaVera James--what a special friend to have. She was born on April 1942 to Ernest and Hazel Dansie Davis. She was the second oldest in her family with an older sister, two younger sisters and two younger brothers. She has lived in Salem all her life. She lives next door to where she grew up. When growing up, all the neighborhood kids made their own entertainment,playing many games outside, such as Kick-the-Can, Hide and Seek, Relieve-I-O, and Red Rover.
She remembers, probably when she was in Jr. High, her family getting a black and white television. They were one of the first ones in the neighborhood to get one. Some people had radios, but not T.V.s. When they had it on, their home was wall-to-wall with kids watching it. Her dad enjoyed watching Red Skelton and the wrestling matches. She remembers their phone being a "party line". They were number 5 on the line, so when the phone started to ring they would all freeze counting the rings to see if it was for them. No one locked their doors or took their keys out of their vehicles. You knew your neighbors and were involved in each other's lives helping where needed.
On July 10, 1959 she married her high school sweetheart, J. Monte James. Monte passed away in August 2010. They had been married for 51 years. They have three children, Brad S. and Debbie James, Salem; Boyd and Janet James, Lake Shore; and Deanne and Rick Ainge, Salem. They have eleven wonderful grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren with another one coming in July. (Brad is currently the Chief of Police for Salem.)
LeVera worked for Sears for 10 years; then in September 1976 she was hired as the Treasurer for Salem City. She worked for the city for 30 years, retiring in September 2006. She served as President of the Utah Association of Public Treasurers. She has served on several volunteer committees for Salem: the Lady Lion's Club where they did service events to raise money for street signs; helped with the first parade for Salem Days which consisted of walking around Knoll Park, which took about 15 minutes. They had bikes and streamers and cards on the spokes for noise, some small wagons decorated, and many kids walking.
She served on the Salem City Beautification Committee, the Miss Salem Pageant, was an original member of the Salem City First Responders and then became an EMT, serving as secretary in both positions. She served on a commmittee for the Salem Days Pageant several times and participated in the pageant once with the ladies from the City office. She has served as a member of the Library Board for three years.
Some of the awards she and her family have received are Employee of the Year in 1991; Family of the Year in 2002; Grand Marshall for Salem Days Celebration in 2007; and she received the Woman of Achievement Award during the Miss Salem Pageant in 2007. She has served in several positions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Stake Relief Society President.
She is enjoying retirement. She started a cooking class for her granddaughters. If the dishes they cooked turned out well it was because of her, and if not, it had to be something they did or at least something she told them to do or not do. She enjoys reading. She said she spends so much time at the library she should be put on the payroll. She loves walking with her good friend, Donna Schwartz, and going to St. George to spend time with more friends. She has been making fleece blankets for the new babies in her family.
LaVera likes Italian and Mexican food, and loves cherry chocolaes. She said she always loved living in Salem and being part of the many volunteers who serve. She loves the citizens of this great community and misses seeing many of them since she retired. She misses all the City employees who she worked with and appreciates what the employees continue to do to make Salem City thegreat place it is to live and raise families. She enjoyed working with the mayors and council members and appreciates all they have done over the years for the betterment of our community.
Happy Birthday to a great lady!
Senior Spotlight, Salem City Newsletter, April 2015, p 3
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