Vanessa Ann LaVigne was born November 19, 1983, in Auburn, Nebraska. She was one of three children of Gary D. and Beverly (Byfield) LaVigne. She was “Daddy’s Little Girl” growing up. Vanessa attended Auburn Public Schools and graduated from Auburn High School in 2002.
She was one six Valedictorians in her class, participated in vocal and instrumental music, ran on the track and cross-country teams, and competed on the Speech Team. During speech season she particularly enjoyed competing against a young man from Malcolm named Josh Lefler.
After graduation Vanessa attended Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on the Winston Churchill Scholarship. Her studies were based on her double major in Political Science and English. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2006.
On July 22, 2006, Vanessa married Josh Lefler in the Berean Church in Malcolm, Nebraska. They made their first home in Iowa City, Iowa, where Vanessa attended the University of Iowa and earned her PhD.
Vanessa and Josh move to Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she was a professor of Political Science and sponsored “The Model UN” Club. After Vanessa took a job with the State of Tennessee the couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee. She served as supervisor in the Bureau of Vital Statistics and helped introduce a new software program to streamline filing birth and death certificates.
Vanessa had many interests other than her work and her husband Josh. She enjoyed gardening and helping things grow, was an avid reader, and loved doing puzzles and figuring out how things worked. She also continued her love for running and belonged to a running club in Nashville.
After being diagnosed with cancer Vanessa continued to work from home and was cared for by Josh, his mother, and her mother, among others. She spent her time at home helping Josh to prepare for her being gone and planning details for her service and dealing with day-to-day occurrences.
On January 4, 2022, with family around her, Vanessa passed away at her home in Nashville at the age of 38 years, 1 month, and 16 days. She was preceded by her father Gary, and since her passing her father-in-law and grandmother have passed.
Those left to remember Vanessa’s quick wit and loving ways include her husband of 15 years, Joshua Lefler; her mother, Beverly (Linn) LaVigne-DeBuhr; siblings, Ryan (Erica) LaVigne and Paul LaVigne; parents-in-law Joseph and Kandis Lefler; brothers-in-law Joseph (Valerie) Lefler Jr. and Ira Horne; nieces and nephews, Garrett and Adison LaVigne, L.J. and Fionna Lefler, Peyton, Riker, and Ronin Horne; and numerous extended family members and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be Saturday, May 28, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Nemaha County 4-H Building, Auburn.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in her name to METAvivor;