EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – Even though Lavern Withrow is retired, she still has a job she loves: being the resident weather caster at Valley Oaks Care Center in East Liverpool.
“I decided that, certainly one way to make people smile and slip a few words of kindness in there and a few encouraging words, all while they’re being distracted by looking at the beautiful sky.”
About two months ago, she started doing weather forecasts for the Valley Oaks Care Center’s Facebook page. Traci McCoy came up with the idea and knew Lavern was perfect for the job.
“She loves to bring joy to everyone she talks to and that’s her main concern, making everyone happy,” McCoy said.
Previously, Lavern worked for 30 years as a switchboard operator, 17 of those years at the Trumbull County Courthouse.
She doesn’t get paid for her weather gig, but she pays it forward. The staff was shocked by the thousands of Facebook fans she’s attracted with her online weather videos. They knew they caught lightning in a bottle by selecting her to be the weather caster.
“It blew up from there. We have nurses from other hospitals calling up and saying, ‘Hey, when is the weather cast coming?’ The police station is following it,” said Administrative Assistant Courtney Dubray. “To see all the negative in town and to see this positive is remarkable.”
Lavern chalks it up to a positive outlook.
Her sunny attitude is even more uplifting when you consider her health problems. Lavern has weathered the storm of health problems over the years.
“Open heart surgery, she had a stroke, colon cancer, high blood pressure. She had a lot of health issues,” said Lavern’s daughter, Shirley Reed.
Even though she’s had a lot of success with her weather forecasts, Lavern says she can’t get it right every time.
“That last thunderstorm we were waiting and waiting for it, and it didn’t come!”
Lavern spreads so much joy despite her difficult life. Whether it’s sunny, raining or snowing, she always puts a smile on people’s faces.