LaRene George

Obituary of LaRene Josephine George

LaRene Josephine George, age 90, passed away peacefully on September 30, 2021 in the loving embrace of her family. She was born to John and Betty Reiner in Dickinson, North Dakota. As the oldest of six children, she learned to be bossy at an early age, a skill she honed over many years. The family moved to Billings when she was young, where she enjoyed Saturday matinees at the local theatre, winter ice skating, sharing the Hershey chocolate bar her dad brought home on pay days at the Pierce Meat Packing Company, summer idylls at the Midland County Fairgrounds, and Central Catholic High’s active social scene. She went to work for the phone company after graduation and changed her name from Lorraine to LaRene, upon discovering this exotic interpretation on her birth certificate, a reflection of her mom’s uneven spelling skills. At a company sponsored dance at the Elmo Club, she met Johnny George, who became the love of her life. Married in 1952, their union lasted 49 years, separated only by God’s intervention. In the 1960’s they moved to Seattle in search of opportunity. LaRene walked into the <i>Seattle Times</i> and asked for a job, her only qualification being a brief stint as a high school yearbook contributor. She went on to a long career as a highly valued research librarian, beloved by all, where she contributed to a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative series. Family was everything to her. She nurtured her husband and four children, Lori, Chip, Mike, and Joel, through bright days and dark passages, with unconditional love, much laughter, firm resolve, and an iron will. The joy she felt in the presence of grandchildren CJ, Whitney, Chris, Matt, Nick, Katie, Dakotah, and Bella, and great grandchildren Tayven, Talia, and Tommy, along with her many siblings, nieces, and nephews, was boundless. Her daughter Lori was a constant companion, and she and her kitties a source of daily comfort. Her perpetually disappointing Mariners, up and down Husky and Seahawk seasons, Mother’s Day at the Longacres horse racing track (where she won first place in their Poetry in Motion contest), endless games of Yahtzee and Scrabble, chardonnay in the afternoon, making the world’s best fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, endless car trips to Ocean Shores, Seaside, Leavenworth, Vancouver, Billings or just about any place she could drag the kids to, and, oh yes, the occasional visit to Reno, Vegas, and local casinos, were just a few of her many interests and avocations. Her Catholic faith was unshakable, and the children learned at an early age that they best sit still in church. She recently gathered with family for a 90th birthday celebration in Las Vegas, where she once again beat the odds. A few weeks later, she quietly slipped away, to reunite with her beloved Johnny. We are bereft without her, but comforted by God’s grace and all those wondrous memories. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in LaRene’s memory to the National Alliance on Mental Illness at namiseattle.org.
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