Jean R. LaVergne, of 13 Rachael Circle, Goffstown, longtime
entertainer and radio personality died Tuesday, July 6, 2004 in
Concord. He was the first born of the late Aurore (Cote) LaVergne
and Uldaige (Dan) LaVergne.
Fresh out of high school, 'Gene LaVerne' (as he is best remembered),
began his country and western singing career from the studios of WHEB,
Portsmouth, NH. The year was 1941. During the ensuing 62 years,
Gene appeared with and worked along side such greats as Roy Rogers,
King of the Cowboys and Smiley Burnett. After years of working
on the road with Roy and the group Gene decided to come back to NH.
He accepted the job offer of managing the Lone Star Ranch, which was
located in Reed?s Ferry, NH. During the next several years Gene focused
on bringing the best country and western artists to perform for the thousands
of people who came from all over New England to see and hear their favorite
entertainers such as Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, The Sons of the Pioneers
and many other artists who were delighted with this young man's ability to 'emcee'
as well as perform with the best of them.
His broadcasting career carried him from WFEA, Manchester, NH through to WLAW,
Lawrence, MA. Then on to WMEX, Boston, MA and finally, WFGL/WFMP-fm, Fitchburg,
MA, where he stood out amongst the giants in the broadcast industry. While at
Fitchburg, Gene developed a great following with a generous amount of good old
country music along with his brand of homespun philosophy. Gene also featured a
very popular Sunday evening segment during which he devoted some very special
time for inspirational music. He sought to try to reach the lonely with carefully
selected readings from the works of Helen Steiner Rice. It was Gene's way of
trying to reach out to the 'many' who felt disconnected and lost.
During the last few years Gene had devoted his time entertaining at the
various county fairs throughout New Hampshire as well as entertaining
the many folks in our nursing homes. Additionally, he pursued a hobby of
He was predeceased by his son David who died in 1996. He was also preceded
in death by his brothers Paul and Richard LaVergne. Besides his wife Juliette,
he leaves four sons. Joey of Port Isabel, Texas, Mark of Astoria, NY, Adam
of Hollis, NH, and Philip of Keene, NH. He also leaves a sister, Mrs. John
(Irene) Duffy, Queens, NY, a brother George LaVergne, who lives in Michigan,
plus several nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering will take place on Friday from 11:00 to Noon at
Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 243 Hanover Street, Manchester,
with a memorial service to follow in the funeral home chapel at 12:00.
Committal services will take place on Friday at 2:00 PM in St. Francis
Xavier Cemetery, Nashua. To view an on line obituary or to send condolences
go to www.phaneuf.net.
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