LaVelle Lee Schilling

LaVelle Lee Schilling passed away on April 6, 2023.

Las Vegas – 

LaVelle Lee Schilling passed away at 86 years of age on April 6, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, surrounded by her family. She was born November 8, 1936 in The Dalles, Oregon, the daughter of William "Bill" and Zella Viola (Burnet) Schilling. 

 LaVelle, Vel, or Velsie, as she was affectionately called, lived her early childhood in Sherman County, Oregon, where her family farmed wheat. Moving to Cottage Grove, Oregon, Lane County, in 1947 her family continued ranching and she attended Latham School and graduated from Cottage Grove High School in 1954. She received her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at Oregon State College in 1958 and married David Brandsness in August that year. Before settling in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1965, and raising their children, Lisa and Erik, they lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, San Jose, California, El Paso, Texas and Elko, Nevada. In 1978 Vel married Henry McPhee. She was a teacher who loved her kindergarten and first grade students, especially teaching them to read. It was fortunate that she could spend the early years of her granddaughters' lives with them before retiring and returning to Cottage Grove, Oregon in 1995, to be closer to her mother. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Prospectors and Golddiggers, and the Cottage Grove and Sherman County Historical Societies. In 2020, she again returned to Las Vegas, Nevada to be near her family and joyfully welcomed her great-granddaughter, Sadie Grace, in February 2023.

 We remember her for her graciousness, hearty laughter and beautiful smile. She loved deeply and strongly her family, her friends, her pets, and her communities. In addition to her profound faith and optimism she passed on her appreciation of the Oregon coast, the wheat fields of north central Oregon and the beauty of Nevada's landscape and sunsets. She shared with us her love of reading a good book, giving of her time, the experience of a musical or theatre performance, singing in church or actually anywhere, entertaining or organizing a gathering, and sharing an evening cocktail on her deck. Whether an old friend, or one she just met, she had a welcoming ability to truly listen and was always a great conversationalist. To her family she was loved as Mom, Granny, and our very best friend.

 LaVelle is survived by her son, Erik Brandsness and his wife, Robin of Reno, Nevada; daughter, Lisa Lucchese and her husband David; granddaughter, Analise Lucchese; granddaughter, Lilina Lucchese and her partner, Cadyn Allen; and great-granddaughter, Sadie Grace Allen, all of Las Vegas, Nevada. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Linda Quinlan. 

 A memorial service and reception were held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Oregon on Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. Burial followed at 1:00 p.m. at Fir Grove Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of Smith Lund Mills Funeral Chapel.

 If so desired, memorial contributions may be made to either Trinity Lutheran Church or Trinity Lutheran Church Community Kitchen, 675 S. 7th Street, Cottage Grove, Oregon 97424.