LaVonne Yonetz Perine of Monrovia, Md, age 62, born January 20, 1957, died on June 8, 2019, from two rare cancers.
She was raised by her father, Gerald C. Yonetz Sr., who taught her the joys of finding a passion in life and pursuing it, as well as making sure she understood the magic of Yellowstone Park, and by her older sister, Saxon Voss Simpson, who was her world, both deceased. She is survived by her husband of 42 years, artist Eric G. Perine, and big brother, James E. Yonetz, as well as her three adorable cats, Totally Joyful, Kip and the ever in her arms, Kaja Bear.
At age six, Saxon took Von to see the movie “Born Free,” which planted the seed of her lifelong activism for animal rights. In eighth grade, she wrote and xeroxed her own newsletter covering all things horses, as well as current abuses that many horses faced. The money she raised from her newsletters were sent on to save wild mustang horses from slaughter. The same year, she proudly wore her “Stop The Killing” armband to protest the Vietnam war and shared the armbands with fellow enlightened students. Both of these freedom of speech acts were shut down by her Catholic school.
Von met her husband, Eric, at age 16, married him at 20 and together they opened their first of two companies at age 21. Both businesses are still thriving today. At age 26, she adopted a vegan and cruelty-free life and never wavered on these important issues. Her mantra has been “vote with your dollar if you really want to make a difference”. Today, cruelty-free and organic products are in virtually every major store due to activists like her and she thanks each of these fellow crusaders!
She ran her business with great integrity as she said it never costs more to do so. She was quick to find a manager or write a letter when an employee anywhere deserved a little recognition.
Von loved to write poems to her friends to make them laugh or to inspire them. Living in the moment was a theme she loved to share in these writings. When she first got diagnosed, she always joked she was going to write her autobiography and title it “I gave up bacon for this?”
“To Senator Patterson and fellow co-cowards who did not sign the death with dignity bill, I dedicate each and every scream of my pain to you for forgetting this country was founded on the principals of separation of Church and State.
“To oncologist Dr. Patrick Mansky and Asst. Dawn Beckley whom both made me feel like a person vs. a patient. Thank you! To Dr. Jesus Esquivel, you brought me back to life with your miracle hands. You work through a higher power.”
Von and Eric ran an open house, where they never knew who would drop by for a gourmet vegan lunch. She loved her friends and she wanted to acknowledge them here.
“To Dr. Sara Hoewing, veterinarian above all else in her field. You are the real deal, Sara. Knowing my boys will continue to be in your hands brings me great comfort.
“To Martha Lanigan, long time dear friend and mentor. I loved when we would hop a train for weekends to Manhattan to walk the parks, take in a play and wished every second we lived there. Our shared love of cats and art was as deep as could be.
“To artist Paul and wife Mary Mintz, thank you for the laughter and good vibes you brought to the little yellow house.
“To Gilberto Urbano of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. My business mentor who I told everyone you were my second husband, we were that close. You gave me a new purpose in life that brought me such joy!
“To Pete Ring, contractor, my brother of choice. I was always so proud to be a tiny part of getting you self employed and to pass along to you what my dad did for me. You are the rare unicorn of contractors, Pete, with unsurpassed integrity.
“To Lewis Allen, for the most fun years of my life traveling up the Eastern Seaboard every few weeks to hit all the art auctions with you. Perfect days, each!
“To artist Annie Cramer, for filling a hole I carried in my heart for decades that your bravery and kindness erased with that first skype call. I will never forget that.
“And to my true soul sister, Sarah and husband Tom Glacken, there are no words to fully express how much I love you guys. The gut busting laughing sessions, the great pool games, the love. You two lit up my life ... literally.
“To my husband, who I knew before I met you that we would be together 24 hours a day for our entire lives. What an extraordinary life you gave me. See you on the flip side, Babe. Keep painting!”
There will be no funeral, per her request, but a party to celebrate her life will be scheduled soon. Those wishing to may make a donation to Days End Farm Horse Rescue, P.O. Box 309, Lisbon, MD 21765 in her memory.