LaVera Patrese White-Potts was born on October 4, 1952, in Kansas City, Kansas, the fourth child of six children born to Jesse Richard and Yvonne Margaret White.
She was educated in the Bonner Springs Public School system and graduated with honors from Bonner Springs High School in the Class of 1970. She achieved national recognition in Who’s Who in America and was a member of the National Honor Society while at Bonner Springs High School. She was one of the first Black students to be picked as a flag bearer, was a member of the Drama department, where she performed in the play “The Miracle Worker”.
In less than a month after graduation from Bonner Springs High School, she drove past the school going west on Highway 32, destined for Kansas University where she remained until 1974, when she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. While at KU she became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
LaVera started working for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City in July 1974, and over the course of 25 years, she held numerous positions in management including, but not limited to, Operations Manager, Contracting and Claims System Analyst, Supervisor, Claims Examiner, and Quality Assurance Clerk. In 1993, she was awarded the Kenneth Helsby Award for her hard work, dedication, enthusiasm, and innovative ideas and received a $5,000 cash award. She retired early in 1999 to become the primary caregiver for her mother.
LaVera married Ernest Potts, the love of her life on August 11, 1982, and to this union two sons were born: Ernest F. Potts and Elliott M. Potts. Her life was centered around her husband, sons, family members, and her church.
In early childhood she accepted Christ and was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Bonner Springs, under the leadership of Rev. Hosea Canady. LaVera’s faith was very important in her life, and after moving to Kansas City, she transferred her membership through Christian experience and was later re-baptized at Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Wallace L. Downs. LaVera continued her faithful and active membership under the leadership of Pastor Ricky D. Turner until her health began to fail. She served with distinction as a Sunday School Teacher, Co-Chair of Vacation Bible School, 1st Vice President and President of the Mission, as well as worked with the church Youth.
LaVera was preceded in death by her brother, Ronald White and her parents, Jesse and Yvonne White. She departed this life on Flight 120 at 5:40 a.m. non-stop. . . . .final destination to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
LaVera leaves to cherish her precious memories, her loving husband of 35 years, Ernest Potts of the home; two sons: Ernest F. Potts (Elizabeth) of Kansas City, MO, and Elliott M. Potts of Overland Park, KS; brother, Clarence L. White (Mardrie) of Los Angeles, CA; sister, Marcellene Burnside of Kansas City, KS; brother, Jesse White, Jr. (Beverly) of Carrollton, TX; sister, Janice Smith (Lonnie) of Kansas City, KS; brother, Stewart B. White (Sandra) of Memphis, TN; and “special” sis-in-law, Sandi Johnson of Kansas City, KS, along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, her special posse and friends.