Dr. Lavern Ray Blank was born on April 15, 1927, at Franklin, the son of Thomas and Lila Blank. He passed away on May 2 at Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook at the age of 79.
Lavern attended grade school and high school at Franklin Public Schools, graduating in 1944.
After his discharge the entered he University of Nebraska and graduated with a degree in geology in 1950.
He was united in marriage to Shirley Gauger in Eustis, on July 23, 1950, and this marriage was blessed with two children, David and Jean.
Lavern was emloyed by the New Mexico and Nebraska highway departments until he applied for and was accepted at the Nebraska School of Dentistry in 1952. Following graduation in 1956, the couple moved to McCook, where he practiced dentistry until retirement in 1989.
Lavern had a long and distinguished career of service to McCook and his profession.
He was a member of the Southwest Nebraska Dental Society, the Nebraska Dental Association and the American Dental Association,erving as president of the Southwest Dental Association and delegate to the Nebraska Association for many years. He was inducted into the American College of Dentists in San Francisco, Calif., in 1969.
Lavern served as president of the Kiwanis Club of McCook, president of the McCook YMCA, president of the Nebraska Dental Alumni Assocication and also was a member of the American Legion, Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity, the Elks Club, a 50-year member of McCook Masonic Lodge 135 A.F. and A.M., All York Right Bodies in McCook and Tehema Western Shrine Club of McCook.
He spent many years raising money and helping guide the Legion Baseball program, and coached several Little League baseball teams.
Vern loved Dixieland music and spent three decades playing the cornet in the Shrine Band and later in the Maverick Band.
Vern was a life-long member of the Methodist Church in Franklin, then McCook. He was an avid golfer, winning the McCook Club Championship once at the old Elks course and one at the new Heritage Hills course.
He was one of the prime movers of the creation and building of the Heritage Hills Golf Course and served for several years on the board of directors.
Lavern was elected and served on the McCook Board of Education.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas William Blank and Lila Sargent Blank; and two brothers, Max Wayne Blank and Kenneth Thomas Blank.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley of McCook; son, David Blank of Breckenridge, Colo.; daughter Jean Blank Solomon and her husband, John, and sons Jake and Sam of Fort Smith Arkansas; brothers Ugene Blank and wife, Marge of Franklin, and Dr. Don Blank and wife, Jan of McCook; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, at Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook with the Rev. Jeffery Thurman officiating. Inurnment will be at Fort McPherson Cemetery at Maxwell.
Memorials may be given in his name and left at Herrmann Funeral Home in McCook.
Herrmann Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of arrangements.