homepage logo

Stanley LaVere Smith

Aug 24, 2018

Stanley LaVere Smith

December 29, 1947 – June 23, 2018

“Flown to a new destination”

Stanley LaVere Smith, 70, of Sanibel Island, Florida passed away in Nice, France, surrounded by family and friends. His heart failed him as he prepared for one of the last days of his and his wife’s annual vacation in France and Italy. He has found a new journey to embark upon.

Stanley, known as both Stan and LaVere, is survived by his loving wife, Barbara Heady, three children and children in-laws; daughter Vicki Summers of Montclair, NJ; daughter April Bednarski and son-in-law Jeff Bednarski of St. Louis, MO; and son Spencer Smith and daughter-in-law Ikuko Smith of Chapel Hill, NC. Stan (LaVere) is survived by five grandchildren: Av Summers (14 yrs), Isaac Bednarski (13 yrs), Sean Summers (11 yrs), Natalie Bednarski (11 yrs) and Rosemary Smith (3 yrs). Stan (LaVere) is also survived by his two sisters; Gayle Jordan and Cheryl Shanks, both of Des Moines, IA.

Stan (LaVere)was preceeded in death by his parents; Stanley and Charlotte Smith of Lorimor, IA, and sisters; Mary Ann Trevillyan, of Des Moines, IA, and Carol Schad of Shell Knob, MO.

Stan (LaVere) was born in Lorimor, IA and was a member of the East Union class of 1966. He played the trumpet in the school band. He married Mary Beth Tyler of Afton, IA in 1968. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1970 with a computer science degree and served in the Iowa Army National Guard. He worked for Farm Bureau Insurance in Des Moines, IA, where he played an important role in transitioning the company from mainframe to desktop/server networks. He raised his family in Ankeny, IA and was a member of the choir at the United Methodist Church.

Stan (LaVere) was divorced in 1991 and married Barbara Heady of Des Moines, IA in 2002. They made their home in Des Moines, where they loved to dance, ride bicycles, participate in French clubs, and traveled regularly to France, Italy, New England, Hawaii, and Oregon. Stan (LaVere) enjoyed researching his family history and worked to trace his Spencer side of the family back to England and their eventual arrival in America on the Mayflower. He was an avid wildlife and animal lover who counted among his closest friends his childhood dog, Happy, and the dear family Beagle, Snoopy. Stan (LaVere) and Barb moved to their dream home on Sanibel Island, FL in 2015. He loved to walk along the beach and bicycle with Barb as they enjoyed the every-changing Florida wildlife. He also loved growing tropical plants, flowers and trees in their yard.

One of Stan’s (LaVere) greatest joys was flying. He became a pilot and flew regularly out of Todd’s Flying Service in Ankeny, IA. He was close friends with Allan “Al” Todd and they enjoyed long hours talking about flying. Even after he was no longer able to fly, he enjoyed flying remote controlled planes and flying to beautiful locations around the world with Barb.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Stan (LaVere) on Saturday, November 24, 2-5pm at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines. All are welcome. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Ding-Darling Wildlife Society, Friends of the Refuge at www.dingdarlingsociety.org where Stan and Barb road every day on their bicycles to observe the wildlife.