The death of a childhood friend is heavy, I can't remember much of growing up without Lavonna being a part of it. Whether we were switching bikes or talking about boys, she was always there.
Every July, we look to celebrate our second daughters birth. Phillip and I take a moment a reflect on being days from her birth, and hearing about Lavonna's death. It is a bitter sweet time for us. Avalon is so beautiful and carries many of the gifts that Lavonna had. Her laugh, like Lavonna's is healing. It has been seven years this July.....Lavonna, know you are still loved and dearly missed.
I was raised as a child in Oak Harbor. I loved it there and was heartbroken when our family moved off the island. I was friends with Vanessa and Lavonna. I was quite infatuated with Lavonna during gradeschool.
I was so shocked to find, while just surfing the web that she had passed. She was a great person with a wonderful heart as Vanessa is as well.
She will be sorely missed.
Here is a pic of Shannon Palmer that I found! I have no idea what year this picture was made? I think it was maybe 4th grade and we might have had Mr. Brown. If anyone knows, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My thoughts to her family and friends! heather damron
Lavonna, April, Lisa, Gil, Diana, Mark, Patrick, Ricky, Shannon, John (Bill, wasn't he known by?).....
You may be gone, but you will always be with our class in our hearts. I'll always remember your smiles and laughs. Thank you for the time we did have with you, even if it was too short. You will always be loved, and I for one know you will always be there with us in spirit.
It was sad to see so many our age already having passed on. A short word of memory for two classmates:
Lisa Heva, my heart goes out to you and your family. One of my bunk mates at Camp Moran in 6th grade, a really gentle spirit. What a great laugh! You passed away bringing in a new life to the world. You've left something tangible and real, and I know your family is so proud.
Lavonna Blake, truly will be missed. I remember you and Vanessa ever since 4th grade. You'd rarely see one twin without the other. I hope when everyone sees Vanessa at the reunion, you'll recall she is not standing alone, Lavonna may no longer be at her side physically, but is in spirit. Hugs, to you, Vanessa. I will remember and miss Lavonna. My heart goes out to you.
In memory of all of our clasmates. You were all a part of our lives. You touched all of us in one way or another, and your memory will be kept alive.
The most vivid memory I have of Shannon is when we found this huge green rock. I mean it was huge! It was at least 5ft high. We both agreed that we had hit the jackpot and found a solid piece of jade. As we kept rubbing our hands all over it in awe, we discussed how we were to get it to the jeweler to have him break it up into little chunks and make rings and such. We eventually gave up on the idea beacuse we thought that someone else knew it was there (like the police) and they would arrest us if we stole it.
Shannon once told me that Jonathan Edwards, the man that sings the song "Sunshine" was her uncle. I never knew this to be true or not, but everytime I hear the song, I think of her and our jade rock. We could have been millionaires.
I remember being so shocked when I heard that Lisa had passed away. She was so young! I'd known Lisa since we were in elementary school and brownies together. Lisa was a kind person and friend. She had a wonderful personality and such a gentle smile. Lisa touched a lot of hearts in her short time with us. I know she is greatly missed by her family and friends.
~I always loved messin with Gil. We had World History together, and sat next to each other. He always had something funny to say. He was forever getting Mr. Eaton off topic, send him in another direction with a question. Tolo was I think the following weekend, maybe even that weekend. I was going to ask Gil to Tolo..We had alot of fun in class, and figured we'd have fun at Tolo. But I didn't ask...I remember thinking when I heard the news...."Maybe if I asked him, he'd have stayed around, he'd have made a different choice?" I had alot of guilt for messin with him...At the time he seemed like such a good sport..if I'd/we'd only known how fragile he was. He would have had a great future, of that I'm sure.
In Memory of Diana Marketti. I lost touch with her shortly after high school, but was alerted when she passed away. My heart goes out to her children, her parents. When Diana came to our school, she was sort of the odd man out. She wore really funky retro clothes, had spikey hair, and rumor had it, she had moved to Whidbey from California, which elicited many "ewws" and "awws" from many of us. Upon getting to know Diana, she was quick to laugh, loved to have fun, and was a lot more real and down to earth than most others. She'd do anything for a friend, including taking the wrap for a day of skipping school and having a big bon fire out on West beach. Just a note in memory, for Diana. The last I saw her was In Oak Harbor many, many years ago, through a chance run in at a restaurant. You never know when the last time you see someone will truly be the last time, on Earth. Treat each other well and have a GREAT reunion! Diana, you will be missed.
Mark holds a special memory in my heart because he was my first boyfriend. Robert Hadley his best friend, could tell us a ton of stories about Mark, but the thing I remember most about Mark is (besides sneaking kisses between class) was that he had the sexiest phone voice, I have ever heard. We had been flirting on the phone one day after school and he had to turn something on or off or what ever and said he'd call me right back. So when the phone rang again, I thought it was him, so I answered how I would greet my boyfriend, unfortunately it was my dad and ... well needless to say he was plenty upset. Mark called back 10 minutes later and we both laughed about it till our stomachs' hurt.
I ran into Mark again 3 years after graduation and we hung out and caught up. He was so handsome, and funny, I'm so glad to have had that time with him.
This was an unexpect death, sudden and leaving many with questions on what or how her death came about. I think, in the end, April wouldn't want to be remember on how she suddenly passed away, but how she lived her life. Anyone who knew April would know her laugh was contagious and she will always be remembered to her closest and dear friends she grew up in Oak Harbor, as well as all the other lives she has touched and blessed in passing.
Odd, but we were planning other meeting where she will be the one picking up old Oak Harbor classmates for this coming class year reunion who arrive in town and take us to Oak Harbor for the event. I will be seeing April face and smile and our jokes and stories we share on the way to OH.
During our class reunion, I hope that we all could take one moment of silence and reflect on our fellow classmates who couldn't be there in person, but will forever be in our hearts and memories.
GOD BLESS THEM ALL
I guess I don't have a particular story to share. There are so many stories that live in my heart that it's really hard to pick one. I'm sure a lot of you have your own memories of Lavonna and our lives growing up in Oak Harbor. I really just wanted to get a good picture of Lavonna on the Memorial page to help make you smile and remember something special about her. As for me, she was my best friend and soul mate. Not a minute of any day goes by that I don't miss her and love her. She was and always will be a huge part of who I am.
Take care and see you in August.
~Vanessa (Blake) Slemp
I can't even imagine the fight Shannon made. She had so many ups and downs as a kid, and especially as a teen. She overcame alot! I remember meeting her a few years after she met her last husband. She was so happy..She felt so complete..and then a few years after that seeing her again and hearing about her health. It seems so shocking to think that she, practically the same age as I, fighting something so horrific(we were young woman and mothers!)..And winning at one point...She had such strength. I'm sure she never, never gave up!