LaVerne McBride - Clark of White Plains passed away at home on Sunday, March 6, 2022 in her 75th year.
LaVerne McBride-Clark, was born in the Bronx, NY, on April 3, 1946, to Thad McBride (deceased) and Irene (Ottley) McBride (deceased). She was the only child from this union. LaVerne was a proud Bronx native, having grown up on Kelly Street in the Hunts Point neighborhood. She never forgot where she came from and would never let you forget, either. LaVerne passed away, peacefully and unexpectedly on Sunday, March 6, 2022 at her Greenburgh, NY residence, leaving her family and friends heartbroken. LaVerne is a product of the NYC school system, where she concluded her journey as a graduate of Walton High School. LaVerne was a curious and eager young adult, trying her hand at fashion design and cosmetology, before setting her sights on higher education. After becoming a mother, she tenaciously pursued her education, a word that is to describe her spirit. Stating true to her NYC roots, LaVerne is a CUNY/SUNY alumna. LaVerne is a graduate of Laguardia Community College, Suny Downstate and lastly, Lehman College, where she graduated, Magna Cum Laude, with her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. LaVerne’s professional career began in 1980, as an occupational therapy aide. Her drive, determination, and work ethic, led her to be promoted several times during her tenure there, rising to Director of Office Services. As her career advanced, LaVerne decided to further. She went on to receive her Master's in Public Health, from New York Medical College. LaVerne went on to become the Director of Operations for Polytechnic University, heading the Westchester County campus, before subsequently retiring in 2008 after 12 years in that role. LaVerne’s deepest passion was her family. The love, care, and time she dedicated to her son, daughter, and granddaughter was remarkable. Nurturing them to achieve their ultimate potential and providing a strong foundation, where exploration, education, strength, hard work, and determination were at the center was where her focus lay. LaVerne became a champion for their rights, namely the right to the best education, while challenging any and all barriers that could undermine that. LaVerne is known for saying, “I never saw a fight, I wasn’t willing to have. And I never saw a fight I was going to lose.” She fought for the rights of her children, and all children in the district for over 3 decades. LaVerne’s 34 year love affair with the Valhalla Union Free school district, began in 1987, when her daughter entered first grade. When asked why she had become involved, she would respond by saying, “It was my ultimate goal to make sure my children didn’t get lost. I refused for my children to be overlooked, based on the color of their skin. And if you’re coming for them, you’re going to have to come through me.” She stuck true to that statement in every sense. LaVerne began to see the disparities in public education, and the need for advocacy and parental knowledge, while advocating for her son, Derrick’s elementary education. This experience sparked the flame for her decades long fight for educational equity
and equality. LaVerne did not just focus on her children, in the pursuit of excellent education. She was a champion for all students. All students, whose voice may not be heard otherwise. LaVerne joined the PTA, as a parent member at Virginia Road School, in 1987. By the time her daughter Noelle, was moving up to the middle school, LaVerne had risen to PTA co-president. LaVerne went on to become PTA co-president in both the middle school and high school, before ultimately moving on to the Valhalla School Board in the 1997-1998 school year. LaVerne was present at school boards meetings from her time serving the Virginia Road PTA. While a member and officer of the PTA, she would attend many board meetings, and at times, a force to be reckoned with, speaking on causes and issues that were dear to her. When LaVerne began on the school board, she always held true to her ultimate responsibility; Doing what was best for the children. LaVerne went on to serve for 18 years on the school board, She championed numerous causes and worked furiously to make Valhalla a district that represented all students. LaVerne was the first African-American woman to be president of the Valhalla Union School District School Board. She served this role faithfully, passionately, and wholeheartedly, dedicating 8 years to the position. Her why never wavered. The why was and had always been, the children. Her reason never faltered. Her reason was care, love, and passion. LaVerne’s service was always rooted in fighting to ensure ALL children had access to an amazing, equitable, and accessible education. LaVerne believed in nurturing the whole child, and she fought tirelessly to ensure that was the reality in her beloved school district. LaVerne was a champion for all students. Valhalla School District will forever be changed for the better because of Laverne’s dedication and continuous support volunteering her time, energy, and love to the district for over 30 years. LaVerne also advocated for her close knit community. She viewed Parkway Homes as a true community in every sense of the word. She served the Civic Association for 35 years. LaVerne was dedicated to the betterment of her neighbors and neighborhood. Many neighbors became friends, and ultimately family. LaVerne was adamant about lending a helping hand, and support in any way she could. LaVerne was loyal to her community, and ensured their needs were heard and they received important information from both the school district and the Town of Greenburgh. Being an advocate for all, who’s voices may not be otherwise heard, took any concerns, albeit small or large to Town Hall, to be the voice for herself and her neighborhood alike. The pinnacle of all of her successes were her family. The unconditional love, dedication, and unshakable support she had for her son, daughter, and granddaughter always remained her first priority.. LaVerne is survived by her son, Derrick Gardner (Wendy), daughter, Noelle Clark (Kiani), her ultimate pride and joy, snuggle buddy and forever Boo Boo, granddaughter, Peyton Clark, best friend and kindred sister, Lula Baity, niece Ellese Baity, Cousin Martin Hill as well as family, and the many friends that became family along the way. LaVerne was an avid bookworm, life long learner, traveler, expert debater, history buff, ultimate foodie, artist, shoe lover, and a sarcastic comedienne. She was a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, an open door, advisory to all, a loyal friend, a dedicated mother, and last but definitely not least, a doting grandmother. LaVerne lived life on her own terms, and gave her love, wisdom, and passion to all things dear to her heart. LaVerne’s passing has left an irreplaceable void in the lives of all around her. She will be sorely missed, never forgotten, and forever held closely in our hearts. In her words, “She fought the good fight”. May we pay it forward, continue to keep her legacy alive, and keep fighting the good fight.
Family and friends are invited to Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc. 575 Columbus Avenue Thornwood, New York 10594 on Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 12:00 - 3:00 PM for a celebration of life service for LaVerne.
To attend virtually, please click the link provided,
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