Patricia LaForge (L),
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
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.