Published in the Interest of the Staunton Community for Over 143 Years


LaVerne B. Bloemker, 81, of Hamel, Ill., died Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, at her home. She was born on Friday, Sept. 26, 1941, in Alhambra, the daughter of Melvin “Buddy” and Clara (Suhre) Greear. On Dec. 17, 1960, she married Lawrence "Chuck" Bloemker. He preceded her in death on Sept. 13, 2004.

She was a member of Salem United Church of Christ and the Hitz Memorial Home Auxiliary. LaVerne grew up in rural Alhambra (near the Worden “Y”) and graduated from Staunton High School in 1959. She had worked for the Alhambra Telephone Company and the Granite City Army Depot prior to marriage. After her marriage, they lived in Alhambra, moved to Utah for a year and then to Hamel for the rest of her life. She and her husband operated Chuck’s Convenience Store and Conoco Gas Station in Hamel for 28 years – closing in 1999. LaVerne worked at SIUE for some 10 years in the admissions office and as administration clerk for the SIUE police department. She had a great love for local history and genealogy. She even wrote a column on Hamel history for the Madison County Chronicle. She volunteered and was an employee at the Madison County Archival Library. Travelling was a fun thing for her, trips to the Holy Lands, Ireland, Yosemite National Park were favorites. LaVerne was known for her baking – especially her cookies. She was a big Dallas Cowboys fan. In the 1970s-80s she served as Village Clerk for Hamel. She also volunteered at her church and Hitz Home.

Survivors include her sons, Larry Bloemker of Hamel, Gary (fiancee, Amy Rogier) Bloemker of Hamel; sister, Betty Greear; and brother, Robert (Judy) Greear, of Godfrey. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother, Melvin “Buddy” Greear.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Dauderman Mortuary in Hamel, and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Salem United Church of Christ in Alhambra. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, at Salem United Church of Christ in Alhambra with Rev. Jeremy R. Wood, pastor, officiating. Interment will be at Salem Cemetery in Alhambra.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hitz Memorial Home or Salem United Church of Christ.

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