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The family of Agnes Vera LaRocque is sad to announce her passing on Sunday, April 7, 2013, at the age of 96, at Rainycrest Long-Term Care in Fort Frances, Ont.

Vera was born Sunday, April 16, 1916 in Crozier, Ont. to Arthur (Ted) and Mary Lavinnia (Gadd) Sexton.

She was united in marriage to Lawrence Joseph LaRocque in 1940.

She is survived by her daughter, Vivian (Terry) Smith of Calgary, Alta. and their children, Lorne (Kara) and Keri; son, Len (Betty Ann) LaRocque of Fort Frances, Ont. and their children, Lisa Watson (James) and Shannon LaRocque (Jason); and son, Dan (Linda) LaRocque, also of Fort Frances, Ont., and their children, Brad LaRocque (Cheryl), Teressa Darrah (Luc), Laurie Beadle (Christian), and Jason LaRocque.

She also is survived by 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Vera was predeceased by her parents; husband, Larry; sisters, Clarissa (Floyd) Lindquist, Jessie (Jack) Fulton, and Ruth (Carl) Anderson; and brothers, Fred Sexton and Art (Olga) Sexton.

Vera was a very independent person, leaving home at 19 to attend Normal School (Teachers’ College) in North Bay, Ont. She later taught in Dobie, Deerlock, and Mather/Potts Townships in one-room schoolhouses.

In those years, married women were not allowed to teach and Vera was content to raise her family once she married.

When Larry left to serve in World War II in 1942 and married women again were allowed to teach, Vera took her son, Len, and went to teach in a one-room schoolhouse in Flanders.

All three of her children eventually spent time in Flanders with her.

Upon retirement, Vera was teaching at Huffman School in Fort Frances. One of her greatest joys was teaching children to read.

During her lifetime, Vera actively was involved in numerous public activities. As a young woman, she was involved in public speaking and used her skills to campaign on the radio for former MPP Bill Noden.

She was a long-time member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority, and also served a number of terms on the local executive of the Federation of Women Teachers of Ontario.

Being interested in fairness for all people, she served a number of years on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which made recommendations to the Ontario government on ways to achieve gender equity in the teaching profession.

Vera loved to play games of all types, playing board games, card games, and Kismet with her children and grandchildren. She was a member of Sister Kennedy Centre and enjoyed all of their activities; especially bridge and the Senior Games.

She also served on the board of Sister Kennedy Centre for a number of years.

Vera was an avid reader, as well. When her eyesight deteriorated, she listened to many talking books. It was a challenge to find new and interesting reading materials for her as she had listened to most of the audio books in the library.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Knox United Church in Fort Frances, with Rev. Barbara Miller officiating.

Should family and friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Rainycrest Long-Term Care Activation Department or the Knox United Church Renewal Fund c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.

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