Keizer- LaRene Cross Saxton, 80, of Keizer, passed away on June 2, 2011, at a local care facility.
She was born on January 19, 1931, in Albany, Oregon, to Willis Kenneth and Louise (Robinette) Cross. LaRene lived in Albany until 18, when she attended college at Oregon State University in Corvallis for her freshman year. She transferred to Linfield College in McMinnville for her sophomore and junior year, majoring in music. She earned a teaching degree from Western Oregon State College with a minor in music.
LaRene married Cllifford Saxton on August 24th, 1952, enjoying 59 years of a fulfilling marriage comprised of friendship, love, and happiness. Together they lived in Shed, Florence, and North Bend, before moving to the Salem/ Keizer area where they lived for the last 44 years. LaRene was an elementary school teacher, and taught first grade in room 2 for 17 years at Highland Elementary School in Salem.
She loved her family dearly, and spent hours supporting them with endless patience, her keen sense of humor, love of laughter, and unconditional encouragement. A voracious reader, LaRene was constantly engrossed in a book, and she loved to knit, play classical piano, and travel.
LaRene is survived by her husband of 59 years, Clifford, of Salem; daughter Gayle Toft and her husband Mickey of McMinnville; son Rob Saxton and his wife Toni of Sherwood; grandchildren Erin Toft of Portland, Elaina Toft of Eugene, Bryan Toft of McMinnville, Sean Saxton of El Paso, Texas, and Ellany Saxton of Sherwood.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Friday, June 17, at 2 pm, at the Salem KROC Community Center, 1865 Bill Frey Road. Arrangements were entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel. Memorials may be sent to The American Cancer Society of Oregon, or Serenity Palliative Care and Hospice.