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LaVonne Carlat


LaVonne Carlat, 85, of Pittsburg, KS, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, May 9, 2024.

She was born in the small rural town of Wilsey, KS, on November 9, 1938, to Samuel "Curtis" Tompkins and Thelma Burton. She graduated from Wilsey High School in 1956 and then attended Kansas State University to pursue a degree in secondary education. While on a blind date her sophomore year, she met her future husband, Gary Kirk Carlat. They were united in marriage on August 2, 1959, and became lifelong partners. The young couple soon settled down in Topeka and over the next few years became a family of five.

In 1972, LaVonne, Gary, and their three young children relocated to Pittsburg, KS. While attending to the needs of her growing children, she enrolled at Pitt State University and graduated with a nursing degree in 1978. Upon graduation, she began her career as a psychiatric nurse at Mount Carmel Hospital until her retirement in September of 1998. After retiring, she continued to be involved in the healthcare community.

She loved music, pottery, poetry, and helping others. She was extremely loving and compassionate. Always a great listener, her patient and empathic nature could be witnessed by the care and concern she showed others.

She is survived by her children, Stan Carlat and wife Debbie of Ashburn, VA, Jeff Carlat and wife Lisa of Cypress, TX, Cherie Keplinger and husband Paul of Mansfield, TX, and her cherished grandchildren, Tanner and Kaley Carlat, Bryan and Sarah Carlat, and Cameron and Luke Keplinger.

LaVonne was preceded in death by her parents, her younger brother Robert Tompkins, and Gary, her loving husband of 61 years.

A Celebration of Life luncheon in honor of LaVonne will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, May 18th, at the Hilton Garden Inn Topeka, 1351 SW Arvonia PL, Topeka, KS 66615.

Those who wish to remember LaVonne in a special way may make memorial gifts to the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing in care of the PSU Foundation, PO Box 4005, Pittsburg, KS 66762.