LaVerne E. “Vern” Rathbun, Sr.

LaVerne E. “Vern” Rathbun, Sr. of Fruitland, Idaho, passed away on April 1, 2024, in Weiser.
 Vern was born on Aug. 13, 1928, in Havre, Mont., to Phillip William “Jim” Rathbun and Aleta Mae Sitkus Rathbun and grew up in Lewistown, Mont. 
 He shared many fond memories of summers spent working on his Uncle John and Aunt Betty’s farm.
 Upon graduating from high school in Lewistown, he joined the Navy. He served 5 years, receiving an honorable discharge. After his naval discharge, and much to Vern’s dismay, he was drafted into the Army. He served 2 more years, spending time overseas in the Korean War.
 During a leave in Seattle, Vern met a beautiful young woman named Caroline June Sneed who was in town visiting from Midvale, Idaho. When he returned from Korea, Vern and June were married in May of 1955. They traveled following jobs for a few years, which took them back to Montana and as far as Florida, but they eventually settled back in June’s home state of Idaho.
 Vern and June raised a family, mainly in Weiser, of four children: Carrie, Skip, Sandi and Holly. 
 Vern was good at many things and did whatever was needed to feed their growing family but eventually settled into a career as an electrician. He owned a successful electrical contracting business in Weiser for many years and upon retiring, he sold the business to his son. 
 But retirement was short-lived and, after moving to Ontario and later Fruitland, Vern went on to do home inspections until, at the age of 85, crawling under a house was no longer safe or comfortable.
 When Vern wasn’t working, he enjoyed league bowling and serving on the Washington County Sheriff’s Posse. He was an active member of the then local VFW post and made many wonderful friends in these activities.
 Being strong-willed and fiercely independent to say the least, Vern continued working in his at-home wood shop and was still driving up until his 95th birthday.
 Vern is survived by his wife of 68 years, June, a sister, Phyllis Smith of Arizona, a step-brother, Quincy (Kay) Godbey of Lewistown, Mont., a son, LaVerne E. “Skip” Rathbun, Jr. (Dawn) of Ontario, Ore., two daughters, Sandi White of Aloha, Ore., Holly (Andres) Oyervides of Weiser, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
 He was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter, Carolyn Leslie Rathbun, and a son-in-law, Jeff White.
 The family would like to thank the many caring people who helped Vern in the last months of his life, and they especially want to thank Dr. Andrew Black and staff, Payette County Paramedics, and Signature Hospice, especially Rebecca, for the excellent and kind, loving care that they provided to Vern in his last months and days.
 The family so appreciates all who wish to pay their respects to Vern, but no public services are being planned at this time.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

Connect with Us