Martha's Story

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Martha Jeanne LaVire, 93, passed away on Oct. 8, 2017 in Traverse City. Martha was born on Dec. 22, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, to Eugene and Marie Breuze.
Growing up in Chicago, Martha spent her time enjoying the music, culture and shopping of the Windy City. A child of French immigrants, she also adored French culture and cuisine.
Martha studied at St. Olaf College, where she played basketball and earned the nickname "Buckets Breuze."
After graduating with her teaching degree, she taught biology and French in Chicago.
She eventually moved to Detroit, where she met her husband, George "Donald" LaVire. Martha and Don raised their four children in Pontiac until moving to Traverse City in the early 1970s. The family enjoyed much of their time outdoors, swimming, fishing and boating on Lake Michigan and exploring the many beach towns in the area. Martha was also an avid tennis player well into her 60s.
Martha often dedicated her time towards bettering the communities she lived in, whether by serving as a Brownie troop leader or volunteering at the library or at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Traverse City. And, she did it in style - always looking impeccably chic.
Throughout her life she was a woman of many hobbies, including tap dancing with Traverse City's "happy tappers," baking wonderful desserts, maintaining her home and garden and traveling the world with her many close friends. She loved art and music and often took her children and grandchildren to visit the Dennos Museum and the DIA and to see shows at the Old Towne Playhouse and the symphony, inspiring a love of art and music within them as well.
Martha will be missed by her family, whom she loved very much, including her children, Jeff LaVire, Lynne LaVire Hertler and Michael LaVire; her son-in-law, Tim Hertler; her grandchildren, Jason Whittaker (Arianne), Erica LaVire (Kiel), Donny LaVire and Kate Hertler; and her great-grandson, Tyler Whittaker.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Marie Breuze; her husband, Donald LaVire; her son, Mark LaVire; and most recently, her grandson, Michael Hertler.
The family would like to thank the staff at French Manor, where Martha resided for the past seven years, for their kindness and care.
The visitation and funeral will be held on Friday, Oct. 13, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Traverse City, with the visitation beginning at 1 p.m. and the service beginning at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your memories with the family.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Published on October 11, 2017
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