LaVonne Mae Emkes
LaVonne Mae Emkes, 90, of Denver, died Saturday, September 16, 2023, at the Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly.

LaVonne was born March 8, 1933, in Buck Creek, Iowa, the daughter of Henry W. and Anita (Eick) Meier. She graduated from Fredericksburg High School in 1952 and Upper Iowa University in Fayette. On December 22, 1958, she was united in marriage to Herman Emkes in Sutton, Nebraska. Together they built, owned, and operated Meadow Lane Mobile Home Park, Inc., south of Denver for over 40 years, during which they were members of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association. They owned and operated the Denver Laundromat for many years, and had fun learning about homing pigeons they transported from various club locations in Iowa and Illinois which were released several hundred miles away for timed flights home. LaVonne taught school in Boone, Aurora, Grand Junction, Waterloo and Denver, sold Avon for over 30 years, and drove for Schumacher Elevator Company in Denver.

LaVonne was a longtime member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Denver; she taught Sunday School classes, was in the Women’s Circle, sang in the choir, and made mission quilts. She served in the American Legion Auxiliary for 49 years, holding offices at the post, county, and 3rd district levels, and assisted with the Junior Auxiliary and Girls State activities. She was a co-leader of the local Girl Scouts and later a member of the Boy Scouts of America, on committees supporting Denver Troop 118. When younger, she enjoyed bowling on the Denverettes League. She, with Herman, enjoyed involvement with the Bremer County Historical Society, Bremer County Genealogical Society, and making friends and traveling with the Ostfriesen Heritage Society and Kaiser-Frasier Owners Club International groups. They found a love in dancing together with the Denver Stardusters square dance club and with their teenage children, who joined the Twirling Teens club later; they held numerous offices and chaperoned teen dances. The family attended dances locally, as well as state and national conventions.

LaVonne and Herman traveled extensively to all 50 states, took cruises, spent winters in Texas, went to Jerusalem and on a mission trip to New Life School in Guatemala. They toured Europe numerous times, including Germany, visiting Herman’s family. LaVonne loved to crochet and was generally seen with crochet hook and yarn in hand at home and during travels with Herman.

LaVonne is survived by her children, Rosemary Weidler (Rodney Miller) and Gary (Barbara Lovejoy-Hess) Emkes; one granddaughter, Jessica (Andrew) Hannon and four step-grandchildren, Sarah Janssen, Caleb (Christine) Hess, Shelly (Mikal) Luiken and Stacey Cochran; one great-granddaughter, and eight step-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Verla Paulson, Vernita Eddards and Ruth Clark; three sisters-in-law, Jeanette Kottke, Susie Emkes and Molly Emkes; one brother-in-law, George Emkes; special family friend, Scott Plum; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Herman; a step-grandson, Brian Miller; one sister, DiAnna Arthur, and two brothers, David and Ronald Meier; and brothers-in-law, Duane Paulson, Lonny Arthur, Ronald Clark, Fred Emkes, and John Kottke.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, at the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Denver and an hour prior to the funeral. Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Denver with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Memorials may be directed to St. Peter Lutheran Church, Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, and Denver American Legion Post #653 elevator project. On-line condolences may be left at

Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Denver is in charge of arrangements, 319-984-5379.
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