2016 Logan County Fair

Patricia LaForge (L),
2015 Grand Champion Cut Flower

Remembering a lovely lady with a passion for flowers, Patricia LaForge

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[August 10, 2016]  This year's Logan County Fair's Floriculture competition was a bittersweet one for the Patricia LaForge family, since she passed away November 2, 2015. For the past 35 years, LaForge had entered many flowers arrangements.

Over the years, Patricia LaForge won more than 700 ribbons and won her first trophy in 1994. At their home, her husband, Wayne, made a memorial display for all her awards from oldest to newest.

Wayne LaForge had always helped his wife out with transporting all her entries, and this year he entered his own cut flowers.

LaForge said they had grown nearly every type of flower imaginable, but zinnias are his favorite.

Patricia LaForge's sister, Sherill Blaum, also entered an arrangement this year that combined many features LaForge liked. Blaum said she did not care if she won an award; it was just a nice way to honor her sister.

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Dawn Beavan, LaForge's daughter, brought in a floral arrangement to just honor her mom with a picture of her parents placed in front of it.

Wayne LaForge said for several years his wife entered a Sacred Lily of India, which looked like an umbrella. She won grand champion one year, first place the next, then second and third place the next few years, and finally stopped entering that arrangement.

One cherished memory Wayne LaForge has of the fair is when the LaForges' were chosen to be the Illinois Farm Family of the Year in 2004. LaForge said his wife sat on a straw bale in the loader of their New Holland tractor as he drove it in a parade and he strapped her in so she would not fall out.

To honor Patricia LaForge's memory, her family has created the Patricia LaForge Memorial Award. It has a religious emphasis because LaForge had always entered an arrangement with a religious theme.

Though Patricia LaForge is gone, she is fondly remembered for her many years of participation in the floriculture competition.

[Angela Reiners]

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