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Lavon Grahn

October 8, 1937 - February 24, 2017

A bright light has gone out for the Portland area animal rescue community. Lavon’s passing has left a void that will be felt for years among those who shelter and care for helpless and abandoned creatures.

Lavon’s mission was in service and in caring. She was an exemplar of selfless attention to those less fortunate, and with humor and attention to detail she persevered in taking care of small animals that would otherwise meet a cruel fate. Over the years, she gave tirelessly of her time and her home to shelter countless aging and sick animals that society routinely discards; it was truly her calling.

Born and raised in the depression, war and post-war era, Lavon lived her life by the ethic of hard work, sacrifice, and self-discipline. She kept a beautiful home while raising her own family. But what many do not know is that she also opened herself and her home to care for foster children, acting as foster-mother to dozens of infants, young children and teenagers in the sixties and seventies. All received the love and steady hand that were Lavon’s character.

Over time and as her nest became empty, Lavon worked in several different aspects of home and home decor, and eventually owned her own home furnishings enterprise. But it was in her retirement years that she was able to realize her mission in caring for small animals, especially ferrets and cats, and she spoke out on their behalf when she had the opportunity.

Lavon met life’s inevitable challenges with her trademark wit and endurance. Those close to her know that she held the philosophy that “Everything happens for a reason” and often remarked that it was this outlook that saw her through many of life’s difficulties, and she carried on with dignity through thick and thin.

To say that Lavon will be missed is an understatement. Her unselfish giving of love and attention touched the lives of hundreds of people and creatures. She lived as an example of the difference that one person can make in the world.

Those wishing to honor Lavon’s memory are urged to donate to Willamette Valley Ferret Shelter, Multnomah County Animal Control, and above all, to choose adoption of rescue and shelter animals.