Yvonne LaFargue Greene was born the first child to Isidore LaFargue and Eugenia Khaten LaFargue on August 6, 1932 in New Orleans, LA. Growing up in the projects of the segregated South and despite her circumstance, Yvonne was a vibrant child with many friends and a zest for life. Reflecting back on her early days, Yvonne often said, “Coming up we didn’t know we were poor until someone told us we were.”
After graduating high school from Xavier University Prepatory School in 1950, Yvonne remained in New Orleans several years before deciding to seek a new life and opportunity out West. In the late 1950s, Yvonne migrated to Los Angeles, as did many of her peers, at a time when African-Americans were becoming a growing presence and influence in the city, and contributed to the diversity of the community in terms of class, culture, religion, and politics. With its growing magnitude and complexity, the African American community redirected the course of Los Angeles as it emerged on the national stage of the civil rights movement. It was against this backdrop that Yvonne was introduced to a young man named William “Bill” Bradshaw Greene, Jr. from Kansas City, MO.
Bill was tall, dark, and handsome, but it was his voice that caught Yvonne’s attention. A former Staff Sergeant with the U.S. Air Force and broadcaster with the Voice of America, Bill had been a field representative for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and civil rights Freedom Rider. Yvonne found him intriguing. After 3 months of courtship, they were married in Las Vegas on March 30, 1962 and they embarked on a family and political life together.
In 1966, Bill was elected to the California State Assembly; and Yvonne gave birth to their first daughter, Alisa Rochelle. Then a short 13 months later, their second daughter, Jan Andrea, was welcomed into the family. In 1975, Bill was elected to the California State Senate. Throughout Bill’s 25-year stint in the California state legislature, Yvonne maintained an impactful influence behind the scenes as her husband’s political partner.
Embarking on a new adventure in Sacramento as a legislative wife, Yvonne made sacrifices putting her career choices on hold to ensure her children had fulfilling and enriched childhood experiences, while Bill traveled back-and-forth between Sacramento and his Los Angeles district. Life in Sacramento was good for the family.
Yvonne fully immersed herself into the fabric of the Sacramento community socially and civically. Early on she actively participated in organizations such as the legislative wives PALS Club, and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Other affiliations included: the Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Inc., Capitol Metropolitan Arts Group, Golden Valley Service Club, Bay River-California Chapter of Girl Friends, Inc., The Nova Ladies of Golf, River City Pokeno Club, and she was a founding member of the New Orleans club Les Bon Vivants.
Once Alisa and Jan completed elementary school, Yvonne began a career selling real estate while attending night school which culminated in her obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco in 1984. A few years later, Yvonne transitioned to a new career with the Los Rios Community College District as a Public Services Specialist on the Cosumnes River College campus from which she retired in 1998.
As her family and friends know all too well, Yvonne lived for good people, good food, and good fun. Whether entertaining for the holidays, or hosting Pokeno game nights for the “girls”, Yvonne enjoyed flexing her cooking muscle serving up some of the best file gumbo this side of the Mississippi. She was the “hostess with the mostest” always exemplifying that southern hospitality.
In 2000, Yvonne was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. While her mobile and functional capabilities slowly deteriorated over time, the spirit of her soul never left. Let her tell it, there was nothing she could not do. However, in 2012, it became apparent she required more family support, so she returned to Los Angeles where her life began in California.
On October 13, 2016, Yvonne was called to her eternal home at the age of 84 in Los Angeles, CA. Yvonne was preceded in death by her husband Bill (2002); father Isidore LaFargue (1936); mother Eugenia LaFargue (1987); and younger sister Avalona LaFargue Flot (2015). Her memory will forever be cherished in the lives of her daughters Alisa Rochelle and Jan Andrea; nieces (Melanie Flot, Felicia Flot, Sharon Flot-Woodfork); nephews (Kevin Flot, Shawn Flot, Lindon Flot); a host of cousins, and the dearest of friends.
Family and friends knew Yvonne as a strong, fun-loving, and colorful personality with a little dash of Louisiana hot sauce in her veins. To her core she was always that proud New Orleans girl who loved family, friends, and letting the good times roll. Yvonne lived an abundantly rich life—one better than any life she could have dreamt for herself.