2008 Citizen of the Year - LaVerne Pay

She was born in Hinckley, Ohio on May 30, 1920. She grew up on a farm located on Ridge Road with her parents, Melvin and Sadie Case. This home site is now the Estates of Ridgemont. Later in her childhood she moved and resided on a farm on River Road. This site is now Westwind Farms Subdivision. On the day she was born, Melvin told people they flew the American flag in honor of the birth of their daughter, LaVerne.

She attended and graduated from Hinckley High School. While in school she participated in the Hinckley town band, playing the clarinet.

It was through community bands that she met her future husband, Wilson Pay. She married Wilson on June 30, 1940. They built their house on Ridge Road, the same year of their marriage and she has resided there and maintains the property till this day. LaVerne and Wilson were married for 64 years when Wilson passed away on June 20, 2003. She was devoted to her husband and to her five children: Judy Whyde, Janet Forbis, Kathy Zuk, Tom and Wilson Jr. There are twelve grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

LaVerne has a strong faith and was raised in the Lutheran Church. She has been an active church member and volunteers countless hours to the church and to the community. Through her involvement with the church sponsored group, Lady WELCA, she assists with cleaning the church, baking cookies for bake sales, (including the fabulous Christmas cookie sale) volunteering at the church rummage sale, cooking for the ladies retirement group, cooking dinners for Operations Home, cooking for memorial service luncheons, transporting citizens for the county Faith In Action to doctors appointments and hospitals, and served as a 4-H advisor. She gives unselfishly of herself to friends, family and the community. Also, through out the years she has assisted with the church's float for the Hinckley Memorial Day parade.

She has donated blood to the blood mobile drive for many years. She has a rare blood type and the Red Cross would call on her every year to donate. The Red Cross would ask her to be on stand by when people where having operations and needed her blood type. She didn't know them, but never hesitated once. She would say "sure" with a smile.

She has helped the Historical Society out with many pictures of the taking down of Hinckley Hill, and how Hinckley looked in its earlier days. Laverne contributed many stories to authors for the writing of books of how the people of Hinckley lived in the past. She has donated many old books and clothes along with her husband’s complete army uniform from back in the 1940's.

Cooking has been a recurrent theme in her life. She served as a cook at Elementary School for 17 years. She was more than just the school cook. Through her generosity, and dedication to others she touched the lives of thousands of children and young adults and served as a positive role model to them. Each of them had the potential to be a better person due to her loving and caring ways. She served as a true inspiration to all children who came through the cafeteria line. LaVerne oversaw most of the "Hinckley Buzzard Day" breakfasts during these 17 years that she was a cook.

If you have not met her, then stop by at the late Sunday service at Our Lutheran Church. Then ask to be introduced to LaVerne Pay. You will meet a petite woman with a gentle face who is always smiling and only has kind words to say. You will quickly be transformed from a stranger to a friend. This very special, classy lady will leave you with a warm heart and a memory to last a lifetime.

She is a devoted first class citizen who has lived her life in God's grace and is loved and respected by all.




Recognition, Honors and Awards