Former Juneau resident Lavon Arnel Liberty died suddenly on May 18, 2008, at the SEARHC Mount Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka. She was 41.
Born Dec. 28, 1966, in Santa Clara, Calif., to Virgil and Esther Liberty Sr., she was a Raven, a member of the T'akdeintaan Clan, Head House. Her Tlingit name was Kaaw Yeit Tlaa.
She grew up in Sitka and attended Sitka schools, graduating from Sitka High in 1985. She was crowned Fourth of July queen, which was quite an honor.
She lived in Vermont and Oklahoma for many years before deciding to move back to Juneau in 2003. She then moved back to Sitka in 2005.
She was an active member of the Women of the Moose and American Legion Auxiliary.
She worked a variety of waitress jobs, which family said she loved doing because she said she met so many people. She always said her address book was her bible and that she couldn't survive without it.
She was an avid softball player, who enjoyed the outdoors, including fishing, hunting and crabbing. She also loved to barbecue and share recipes with her brothers.
Family members said they will miss her loving compassion toward others.
She was preceded in death by her father; brother, Jay Ryan Liberty; aunt, Anita Ward; and grandparents, Harvey and Marietta Williams.
She is survived by the love of her life, Douglas "Pato" Hayes, of Sitka; mother, of Juneau; brothers, Virgil Emmett Liberty and wife, Rubylle, of Juneau, Carl Mitchell Liberty and Gary Atkinson and wife, Shelly, of Sitka; sister, Michelle Deanne Liberty, of Ponca City, Okla.; nieces and nephews, Michael Jay Liberty, Natasha and Shelby Pruett and Milton Liberty; great-niece, Aurora May Johnson; aunts and uncles, Walleen and Danny Whitson, Joanne and Richard Chartrand, Marion and Gary Berry; Harvey and Kathi Williams Jr., Milton Ward, Glenn and Liz Howard Sr., George and Martha Howard Sr., Louis and Bonnie Howard Sr. and Roger Howard Sr.; numerous cousins; and many close friends in Sitka, Juneau, Vermont and Oklahoma.
Pallbearers are Bert Edenso, Bart Edenso, Michael Jay Liberty, Greg Crowe, Tracy Shaffer, Donny Garrity, John Hammock, Nathan Bernhardt, Walter Samuelson, Ron Martin, Ryan Olson and Hank Derenoff.
Honorary pallbearers are Carl Liberty, Virgil Liberty, Gary Atkinson, Harvey Williams Jr., Danny Whitson, Gary Berry, Mabel Moy, Alvin Rezek, Roger Howard Sr., George Howard Sr., Louis Howard Sr., Glenn Howard Sr., Dr. Julien Naylor, Terry Blake, Stan Filler, Woody Widmark, Herman Davis, Alice Cropley and Jeff Williams.
Per her request, she will be cremated and her ashes will be spread at a later date along with her Grandpa Williams.
A memorial service was held Tuesday, May 27, at the First Presbyterian Church, with Frank Ockert officiating. The Women of the Moose will honor her with a short memorial service. A reception will follow immediately after the services in Latta Hall.
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