Laurena Winifred Kennison Vance

Laurena Kennison High School - 1948

Laurena Winifred Kennison was born on April 24th, 1930 to Harry Alvin and Edna Winifred (Weaver) Kennison in Wallowa, Oregon. She was named after her Uncle Billy Kennison’s wife. (Billy had passed away in 1922.) Laurena was the youngest of three children, joining her sister Shirley and her brother Harry in the family.

When Laurena was only four years old, her dad passed away of a sudden heart attack in December of 1934.  The family struggled on until 1940 when Laurena’s mom married Trell Coleman.  Laurena was almost ten years old at the time and Trell was a wonderful stepdad.

Laurena Winnifred Kennison

(Laurena, age 13)

Laurena went to Wallowa High School, graduating in 1948.  I think that the first photo above is her senior picture. I love that her signature is on it.

As soon as Laurena graduated from high school, she married Ray Thomas Vance. The wedding took place on the 23rd of May, 1948.  Laurena was eighteen years old.

Laurena Kennison and her cat

Nine years later the couple was blessed a son, Kenton.

Vance, Ray and Laurena Kennison 15th wedding anniversary

(Ray and Laurena celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary.)

The couple had moved to Alaska fairly early in their marriage, I believe.

I did find two little mentions of her in the Sitka, Alaska newspaper.

From the Sitka Daily Sentinel, Sitka Alaska – September 1, 1982

Laurena Vance will speak on the importance of nutrition in the treatment of alcoholism. 

Then, May 5th, 1983:

Discussion leader will be Laurena Vance, SCAODA outpatient supervisor.

SCAODA is the State Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

Laurena and Ray divorced at some point, but I’m not sure the dates on that either.

Laurena was living in Salem, Oregon when she passed away.  She had a form a leukemia and I remember that she had been tired, bone weary, really. She went to the doctor and was diagnosed with leukemia only a couple of short weeks before she passed away. She was 72 years old and passed away on the 16th of March, 2003 just shy of her 73rd birthday.

I personally barely remember Laurena and Ray, except for some reason I can clearly remember the raspy sound of my Aunt Laurena’s voice and her laugh. There are a lot of holes that I’m hoping family members can fill in with Laurena’s story.  Can you help?  Please either leave a comment here or send me a private message. Thank you!

Kennison, Laurena Line

(Laurena is my great-aunt. She is my dad’s mother’s sister.)


“Her hair was naturally curly as was Edna Weaver Kennison’s hair.” ~ Kara Kennison


Weaver Family Photo – 1978

Weaver, Remaining children of Elijah and Mary 1978 - photo


Weaver, Remaining Children of Elijah and Mary 1978

August 13th, 1978

This picture was taken of the remaining children of Elijah Daniel and Mary Pearl (Hulse) Weaver.

Left to Right: Martin Tucker Weaver, 56; Selby Granville Weaver, 60; Kenneth Weldon Weaver, 63; Leona Myrtle Marie Weaver Armon, 59; Wilbur Gregory Weaver, 65; Lloyd Wallace Weaver, 67; Robert Wayne Weaver, 69.

Taken at Chuck’s Home. (Chuck was Lloyd.  His home was in Wallowa, Oregon.)

I want to graciously thank my 2nd cousin, Lorrie Goebel Wade for sharing it with me so that I could share it with all of you. What a family treasure!  Lorrie thinks that it was possibly taken after her grandmother Blanche’s funeral. Blanche was one of the Weaver kids as was my own great-grandmother, Edna, who had passed away in 1970.

The Weavers - Siblings 1978

Shannon Weaver Erm saw this post and sent along two other wonderful pictures taken on the same day.  She went a step further and sent close-ups that really show the expressions on their faces. Enjoy!

Thank you so much, Shannon. These are fantastic!

Weaver, Kenneth Weldon

Kenneth Weldon Weaver

Weaver, Leona Myrtle Marie Armon - 1978

Leona “Myrtle” Marie Weaver Armon

Weaver, Lloyd Wallace - Chuck - 1978

Lloyd “Chuck” Wallace Weaver

Weaver, Martin Tucker - Brother 1978

Martin “Doc” Tucker Weaver

Weaver, Robert Wayne - 1978

Robert Wayne Weaver

Weaver, Selby Granville- 1978 -

Selby Granville Weaver

Weaver, Wilbur Gregory - 1978

Wilbur Gregory Weaver

The Weavers - Siblings 1978 - Shot 2

(All of these wonderful people are my 2nd great uncles and one 2nd great aunt. My great-grandmother, Edna Winifred Weaver was their sister.)

Weaver, Edna Kennison Coleman Line