Mrs. LaVarre Bickham passed away quietly at Broad Acres Nursing Facility on November 27, 2017. The family wishes to express a debt of gratitude to the people of Broad Acres for the high personal and professional quality of care that she received during her year there.
Mrs. Bickham was born on August 20, 1918 in Manito, IL. Most of her childhood was spent in Crawfordsville, IN, graduating from high school there in 1935. Her family then moved to Portsmouth, Ohio. She met there her husband to be, Howard F. Bickham. They were married in 1939, at the very end of the Great Depression and shortly before World War II. Early on they gave each other nicknames. He was Bick, and she was Sug (as in sugar).
Sug and Bick had three children—Stephen Bickham (Nancy) of Wellsboro, PA, Dianne Bach (Jay) of Centerville, OH, and John Bickham (Patricia) of Houston, TX. There are five grandchildren—Jennifer Bickham-Mendez of Williamsburg, VA, David Bickham of Boston, MA, Carl Bach of Centerville, OH, and Rebecca Bickham and Amy Baird of Houston, TX. There is a total of eight grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.
LaVarre was a stay at home wife and mother until the youngest child was well into school age. Then she went back to work. She was employed in a large hospital complex in Dayton, Ohio—St. Elizabeth's. She began as a clerk in the Business Office and was quickly promoted to assistant to the hospital accountant. One of her functions there was to balance the checkbook of the medical center every single day. She finished her career at St. Elizabeth's as the personal secretary of the Administrator ad secretary to the Board of Trustees.
In their retirement Sug and Bick traveled all across the country and drove to Alaska before the Alaskan highway was paved. Their annual highlight was a long canoeing, camping, and fishing trip—just the two of them—up the various wilderness rivers of Ontario. They stayed in that wild environment a month or two, depending on the weather.
There will be a memorial service for LaVarre at St. Peter's Church in Wellsboro—time to be decided later. The full funeral will be held at a later date at St. Leonard's Catholic Chapel in Dayton, OH. Donations in LaVarre's name may be made to Samaritan House or Friends of the Green Free Library.
In August of 2018 LaVarre Bickham would have been 100 years of age. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Buckheit Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., 637 S. Main St., Mansfield, PA www.buckheitfcandcrematory.com