LaVonne Kramer was born the youngest of four daughters of Louis and Marie. She grew up on the family farm and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She was a lifelong learner and avid reader.
She married Richard Kramer and they began farming the family farm. From there, they owned and operated Kramer Hardware in Everly for 15 years. In 1971 they purchased a farm in rural Everly. Together, they designed a new house to accommodate their entire family for visits and moved there in 1980 after Richard constructed it himself. During Richard’s second farming life, he was elected to the Clay County Board of Supervisors where he served for 16 years. LaVonne assisted Richard in all his endeavors and was active in Hope Lutheran Church as a Sunday School and Bible School teacher, ‘Mission Band’ leader, and Junior Choir director. She served in various positions – Altar Guild, president of the women’s organization and, for a number of years, was local radio chairman for a program sponsored by area church women (“Christian Women Speak”). Later, the couple joined Bethany Lutheran Church in Spencer and she was a Stephen Minister and trainer, a lay preacher, and enjoyed quilting for mission projects. She served on the Everly Library Board, the Arrangements Committee of the Sixth District of Iowa Federation of Republican Women and was a volunteer with the Spencer Hospital Auxiliary for over 20 years. Following Richard’s passing, she moved from the farm to Spencer.
She particularly loved music and played the piano her entire life. She was a member of the ‘Small Town Crisis’ musical group in Everly. She played for ‘Christmas at Bethany’ and, at the age of 85, accompanied Bethany’s first “flash mob”. Social gatherings with ‘Red Hatters’ and a monthly Kramer Breakfast were fun social activities. She enjoyed travel in the region, nation, and overseas with her husband Richard. They took a trip to Germany for family heritage and Lutheran sightseeing. She also took great pleasure in listening to accounts of her extended family’s travels, traveled with them on occasion, and always visited each new home wherever it was located across the country. She enjoyed reviewing and discussing house plans and decorating was one of her special skills. She eventually designed and built two houses with Richard.
Her family was most important in her life. She was married to Richard for 55 years and they had 3 children: Denise, Scott, and Steven. LaVonne and Richard were blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She delighted in hosting the family for holidays, especially the annual July 4th family gathering and fireworks at the farm. She loved to hear of their many activities. She was endearing with her encouragement of the grandchildren; she always had positive words to lift them up. She had a hearty laugh for a good joke and enjoyed the many fun stories of their childhood years. Christmas was a special time of year because it included her birthday.
LaVonne breathed her last listening to a favorite hymn, “In the Garden”, and holding her daughter’s hand. The family deeply appreciates the compassionate care of the staff at St. Luke Home and Spencer Hospital Hospice. She was preceded in death by her parents Louis and Marie, her husband Richard, and her sisters Vera Glee, Leila, and Verneda.
Left to cherish her memory are her children - Denise and Gary Tolzmann, Scott and Diane Kramer, and Steven and Judy Kramer – and grandchildren – Elizabeth and Richard, Emily and Kenan, John and Jacie, Sheena and Chris, Crystal and Jeff, and Deanna, Tabitha, and Aaron. LaVonne has a dozen great-grandchildren. Dear to her heart are Jolynn, Chris, Allie and Kramer. She is also survived by other family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Bethany Lutheran Church (15 W 14th St, Spencer IA 51301) and will be designated for music.
Masks and social distancing protocols will be practiced at the worship service.