Florentina Teresa Sabala Laragan joined many family members and friends in heaven on Sunday, March 9, 2008, in Twin Falls. Flora died at home as she had hoped, with her loving husband by her side, holding her hand and kissing her good-bye.
She was born in Twin Falls on Oct. 31, 1919, to Francisco and Florentina Yrazabal. She spent her youth in Twin Falls and attended St. Edward's Catholic School. As the third oldest of eight children, she mothered her younger siblings and sacrificed her high school education to work and take care of them. She made sure they would have the prom dresses or suits she never had the chance to wear herself. She always put others before herself. She worked for a couple of dry cleaners in Twin Falls and then for Sabala Cleaners in Ketchum before she was married.
Flora, a beautiful, vibrant Basque woman, married the handsome Lt. Col. Joe E. Laragan, who returned from World War II and swept her off her feet. They flew (just to be adventurous) to Elko, Nev., and were married Aug. 10, 1946. As the plane dipped and swerved, Dad told Mom, "Look what I got us into." Mom replied that she would go to the ends of the earth with him and that if the plane went down, they'd go together. Their marriage was later sanctioned by the Catholic Church. Flora and Joe made their home in Ketchum for 32 years. Flora was Joe's secretary for his oil business. While raising their children in Ketchum, Flora was involved with the Papoose Club, the Gold Mine, the Community Library and Cub Scouts, and was room mother for all three children at Ketchum Elementary School. She was actively involved in Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church and taught Catechism.
Mom's best friends were her siblings and in-laws. She lived for and could hardly wait for the many reunions, get-togethers and adventures they all enjoyed throughout the years. In 1978, Flora and Joe retired to Twin Falls where they traveled to Spain several times with Flora's sisters and brothers and spouses, and to Arizona and California during the winter months. They attended every Jaialdi Basque Festival since its inception. Flora was a parishioner at St. Edward's Catholic Church. Her faith in God and gratefulness to God and her love of the rosary were demonstrated on a daily basis.
The most important part of her life was her family, which included immediate family, her siblings, their spouses and her nieces and nephews. Having lost her parents early in life, she cherished her husband's parents as her own and kept her Basque sharp when communicating with them. Flora had a wonderful sense of humor, was an excellent cook and the ultimate homemaker and mother. Her nieces and nephews and children's friends always knew they were welcome in her home and could always feel her unconditional love for them. Flora could turn any object or piece of clothing into a prop to make everyone laugh. She excelled at bringing a smile or laugh from those she loved, even at her own expense. She loved reading books and solving crossword puzzles, and was proud of the fact that she always won the spelling bees in grade school. She golfed and loved garage sales and movies. Mom and Dad were married for 62 years and through the ups and downs they never failed to dance.
Flora is survived by her beloved husband, Joe, and her children, Kathy (Durg) Perron, Kim Laragan-Uranga and Joe (Tammy) Laragan. Eight grandchildren survive her: Nikki (Greg) Maynard, Ryan (Sahily) Perron, Josh (Sheena) Perron, Jake (Kris Sang) Perron and Joel Perron, Sebi and Solee Uranga and Chelsea Laragan (Mike Byron). She is survived by nine great grandchildren: Lindsay, Gregory and Joshua Maynard, Ryan, Riley, Sahily and Kameron Perron, Tyson Laragan and Maria Byron. She is also survived by two sisters, Anna Berriochoa and Nettie Nance, one brother, Manuel Sabala, three sisters-in-law, Alice Sabala, Carmen Wallace and Bert Laragan, and one brother-in-law, Gene Hillis.
She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant sibling, her brothers Frank and John, her sisters Mary and Rosie; six brothers-in-law, John LePore, Carli Berriochoa, Joe Mendiola, Albert Nance, Marcey Laragan and Francis Wallace; four sisters-in-law; Lou Sabala, Grace Sabala, Juanita Laragan and Rita Hillis; a grandson, Gabe Perron; a great-grandson, Nathaniel Maynard; and two nephews, Garry Sabala and Jackie LePore. There is one heckuva "Farkle" Family Reunion and lots of jota dancing going on in Heaven.
We would like to express our appreciation to Dr. David Spritzer, Mia and Carol, and Dr. Stan Mogelson for being so good and kind to Mom and our thanks to Shanny Gallegos of Helping Hands and to Sylvia Wybenga for their kindness and help.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to St. Edwards Building Fund in honor of Francisco and Florentina Sabala, the Gooding or Boise Basque Center, ALS Research or to a charity of your choice.
The rosary will be recited on Tuesday, March 18, at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Funeral Chapel, 2466 Addison Ave. E., Twin Falls with Deacon Jim Herrett reciting. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 18, at 11 a.m. at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, 161 6th Ave. E., Twin Falls with Father Victor Manuel celebrating. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Reynolds Funeral Chapel, Twin Falls.
You will live on in our hearts. "Goian Bego" ... be with God and your family at peace now.