1934 - 2022
Ellen LaVerne Sprouls was born in Adair, Oklahoma on February 17, 1934, to Theodore and Genetta (Tuell) Miller. She was the oldest of nine children. The Miller family moved from Oklahoma to Iantha, Missouri in 1946, where LaVerne attended Bryan Country School and graduated from Liberal High School in 1951. After graduation she attended Southwest Baptist College and graduated with a BA in Education in 1953. She began her teaching career in the fall of 1953 at Liberal teaching 2nd grade. LaVerne also taught at the Rose Branch rural school near Oakton, MO.
On June 6, 1954, LaVerne married Marion George Sprouls. The newlyweds were featured on the “Welcome Travelers” TV show in Chicago. They had five children.
In 1969, LaVerne went back to college at Missouri Southern in Joplin and graduated in 1971 with a BS in Education. She then taught elementary school at Liberal until her retirement in 1997.
In addition to teaching, LaVerne was an active member of the Iantha Baptist Church where she served as the Baptist Association clerk, pianist, organist, Sunday School teacher, Team Kids Leader, WMU member, VBS teacher/director, and faithful servant to her Lord and Savior. LaVerne had a passion for missions and participated in two mission trips to Wyoming, multiple youth mission trips, and regularly volunteered at Baptist Hill. LaVerne was a founding member of the Iantha Park board, a member of the VFW auxiliary, and 4-H leader. She loved to garden and sew. She made many lap robes for hospitals and nursing homes. LaVerne had a passion for travel and immensely enjoyed travels to Korea and Japan in 1982, Australia in 1981 and again in 2011.
LaVerne was blessed with the gift of hospitality and regularly fed friends, family, and anyone that stopped by. She hosted four foreign exchange students in her home and maintained close contact with Ian Humphrey from Australia and Carlos Ivàn from Mexico.
LaVerne is survived by brothers, Doyle (Judy) Miller, Calvin (Janet) Miller, Keith (Kathy) Miller, and Larry Miller, sisters, Lorene (Roy) Sprenkle and Sharon (Henry) Stout, sisters-in-law Joan Miller and Shirley Cook, two sons, Dwight (Cindi) Sprouls and Doug (Pam) Sprouls both of Lamar, two daughters, Diann (Randy) Marti, Nevada, MO and Darla (Michael) Loy, Pittsburg, KS, and daughter-in-law Sandy Sprouls, Liberal, MO. She is also survived by 14 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren (with 2 more arriving soon), and 4 great-great grandchildren (with 1 more arriving soon).
LaVerne was preceded in death by her parents T.O. and Genetta Miller, brothers Kenneth and Lloyd Miller, her Loving Husband Marion Sprouls, and recently, her oldest son Dwayne Sprouls.
She was a devoted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and servant to the Lord.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Iantha Baptist Church, the DOGS foundation at the Liberal School District, the Miller Family Scholarship Fund, or the Iantha Park fund in memory of LaVerne Sprouls. The family will receive visitors on Sunday January 9, 2022 from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at Konantz Warden Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Monday January 10, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Konantz Warden Funeral Home followed by interment at Memory Gardens.
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