Laverne Gibson belonged to a large, very close-knit family - always celebrating holidays together, looking after each other, caring for parents and other family members, and cherishing time together. When Laverne passed away following a nine year battle with lymphoma, her five sisters and brothers, Valerie Ross, Laurie Wohlers, Linda C. Walker, Michael L. Lough, and John B. Lough, III, wanted to do something to ensure that a permanent memorial was created for Laverne, and to benefit a cause that was very important to Laverne - children and their education.

Laverne was born in Parkersburg and was the daughter of Helen L. Lough, and the late John B. Lough, Jr. A graduate of Parkersburg High School and a cheerleader for three years, she was a true "Big Red." She also attended West Virginia University, cheering there during one year. Laverne loved the Mountaineers. Whether winning or losing, she supported them, always a loyal fan.

She had a special love for children and taught special education in Huntington (WV), Venice (FL), and Belpre High School, in Belpre, Ohio. According to her sister Valerie, although Laverne never had any children of her own, "she treated many of her students as if they were her own." At the time that she passed away, she lived with her companion of nine years, Bill Beymer. Laverne and Bill enjoyed raising, training, and showing their three Rocky Mountain horses.
During her struggle with lymphoma, she fell from her horse and broke her back, yet continued teaching. She was an "upbeat person" who never complained. Valerie noted that, "She was the best sister a girl could ever have."

The Laverne L. Gibson Fund was created in 1999 and awarded its first scholarship in Laverne's memory to a student from Wood County, WV or Washington County, OH in 2000. The scholarship is intended for a student who has an interest in education, and particularly in special education.