Beth LaVon (Rooms) Behler | Obituary

Beth LaVon (Chambers) Behler, of Lewiston, died peacefully on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, of cancer at Royal Plaza Retirement and Rehabilitation; she was surrounded by her family. LaVon lived a wonderful 95-year life.

LaVon was born August 14, 1926, to Gladys (Bovey) and Roy Chambers on a farm just a quarter mile from where she grew up and raised her family in the Cold Springs neighborhood near Winchester. Beth LaVon has been known most of her life by her middle name, LaVon. While LaVon grew up on the family farm, she attended Cold Springs School through 8th grade, a one-room school located about a mile and a half east of the farm. LaVon and his younger brother, Bud, rode, walked, and skied (sharing a pair of poles) each way since there were no school buses in operation at the time. She completed her education at Reubens High School, where she graduated valedictorian of the Class of 1944.

At age 18, LaVon was admitted to the United States Cadet Nurse Corps in 1944 and enrolled at St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Lewiston. In 1945, LaVon was continuing her nursing training at St. Joseph’s Hospital, but was sent to Pasco with another nurse, Marge Sonnen, for training in surgery and maternity. On the bus to Pasco, Marge bumped into a friend who was a wounded World War II veteran. He told Marge he would like to come see her. Marge said, “Bring someone for LaVon,” and he brought in her buddy, Harold Behler, also a soldier recovering from war wounds. Harold and LaVon have dated several times. Some time later (as LaVon would tell the story), after returning to Lewiston, Harold called her; he had been discharged from the VA hospital and honorably discharged from the United States Army. He wanted to know if she would still like to go out with him… Of course, she did!

LaVon received her RN certificate from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1947. On November 29, 1947, she and Harold were married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Clarkston. Early in their marriage, beginning in the spring of 1949, significant changes were evolving for the new couple. Several circumstances concerning the Chambers family farm presented LaVon, then 22, and Harold, then 23, with the opportunity to move and take over the operations of the Chambers family farm near Winchester. The farm became the home of the young couple. Along with this major business of developing and operating the farm, LaVon was pregnant with their first child. Later that year, on the farm, in October 1949, Cheryl Ann was born. Cheryl’s sister, Jerene Marie, arrived a year and a half later, in January 1951, and it would be nearly nine years later for their son, Dennis Harold, to be born in November 1959, forming the Behler family.

LaVon embraced life as a wife, farming partner, mother, homemaker, nurse, daughter, in-law and champion of the Behler Farming Company. She continued to nurse and worked at St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Lewiston. In the early 1970s, LaVon and Harold decided to make farming their life and livelihood and opted out of working off-farm jobs. It was full immersion in farm life during critical farming seasons and a commitment to an active lifestyle during off-season times of the year. They enjoyed snowmobiling during the prairie winters and took many rugged trips into the backcountry mountains with their family and friends.

Beginning in 1988, LaVon encouraged the family to get together once a year for a family reunion, which usually took place during an RV/camping trip to various locations in the area. Later, this often happened in conjunction with a family event for weddings, special birthdays or anniversaries. This tradition had its 34th annual extravaganza on August 14, 2021, for LaVon’s 95th birthday.

While raising their family, Harold and LaVon spent time each year visiting his parents in Arizona. In the early 1970s, their many excursions led them to become RV travelers, which later led to them joining the Lewiston-based Jaw Bones RV Club, a subsidiary of Good Sam. -car and their knowledge of Arizona sparked the desire to take annual winter trips to the Southwest. They spent winters in Sun City Grand, where they were frequently visited by friends and family until 2010.

During the snowbird years, LaVon was a member of Lewiston Country Club in Lewiston and Sun City Grand Community Golf in Surprise, Arizona. at the Granite Falls Golf Club, where she greatly enjoyed the camaraderie of the members at golf events and social gatherings. She also enjoyed her colleagues at the early morning water aerobics groups in Arizona and at the Asotin County Family Aquatics Center in Clarkston.

In November 2017, LaVon and Harold celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston. Many friends and family celebrated their birthdays, including three children and their spouses, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren (now 13). They continued to live alone in Lewiston until September 2021, when they moved into the Royal Plaza Assisted Living facility.

LaVon was predeceased by her parents and brother, Bud Chambers. She is survived by her husband, Harold (age 74); his children, Cheryl (Jerry) Wallace, Jerene (Pete) Gertonson and Dennis (Tracy) Behler; his grandchildren, Keith (Maureen) Wallace, Kathy (Bill) Gehring, Brian (Michelle) Wallace, Nikki (Josh) Cox, Angie Wallace, Joe (Amy) Behler, Beth (Tucker) Harding and Kit (Bethany) Behler; his great-grandchildren, Sarah and Sam Wallace, Cole, Kaleigh (Poxleitner) and Rylan Gehring, Anna Wallace, Cooper and Abby Cox, Stone and Nile Heinzman, Brodie Behler and Livi and Virginia Behler; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

The family would like to thank Nurse Kim Richardson and Pastor Jim Wallace of St. Joseph’s Hospice for the excellent care and compassion they provided not only to LaVon, but also to Harold and the rest of the Behler family.

His celebration of life will be held Thursday at All Saints Catholic Church. The rosary will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the service at 11 a.m. His burial will take place immediately after the service at Lewis-Clark Memorial Gardens. Lunch will be served after interment at the All Saints Catholic Church Reception Hall. For those unable to attend in person, services will be streamed on All Saints Catholic Church YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=6TdFzMfJ-r4.

Donations may be made to All Saints Catholic Church or St. Joseph’s Hospice in lieu of flowers.

Mountain View Funeral Home in Lewiston is making arrangements.

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