Cora LaVonne Hartson, 85

Cora LaVonne Hartson, age 85 of Fredericksburg, passed away peacefully Monday, March 15, 2021, at UnityPoint Health - Allen Hospital in Waterloo. Due to complications from emergency surgery late Saturday night.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Peace United Church of Christ in Fredericksburg with Rev. Scott Smith officiating.

Interment will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery, Fredericksburg with David Bormann, Joel Franzen, Jamie Beatty, Brett Franzen, Justin Franzen, Brittany McNeil, Tyler Hartson, Trenton Hartson, Brianna Drewelow, Morgan Price, and Trey Hartson serving as pallbearers.

Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 19, 2021, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in Fredericksburg where there will be a 6:30 p.m. Scripture Service. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Cora LaVonne Hartson was born on November 30, 1935, to Raymond and Lulu (Coen) Shannon in Nashua, IA and she grew up in the Nashua, Greene, and Powersville area before her family moved to Fredericksburg.

LaVonne attended country school before going to Fredericksburg High School, where she played 6-on-6 basketball for the Falcons and served as the school’s drum majorette before graduating with the Class of 1954.

She graduated from Upper Iowa University with a degree in elementary education and began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse just north of Fredericksburg. She also taught at Fredericksburg Elementary before accepting an offer in 1964 to join the teaching staff at Tripoli Elementary, where she taught until she retired in 2000.

LaVonne had a gift when it came to teaching. She had high expectations of her students, but they also knew that their teacher would always be their advocate. Countless times over the years, LaVonne’s children have heard the phrase “she was the best teacher I ever had.”

She met James Hartson in high school; he was a year ahead of LaVonne in school. They began dating, fell in love, and were married on July 14, 1957, at the Peace United Church of Christ in Fredericksburg, and their family grew to include Diana, Dorreen, Dennis, and Daryl.

LaVonne and Jim loved to go dancing and always were members of a card club. LaVonne also enjoyed sewing, and her kids remember the matching outfits Mom made for them. They will also tell you that their mom was a social butterfly; whether it be when out dancing, playing cards, or when the family went camping. In LaVonne’s world, everyone was a friend.

Three years after she retired from teaching, LaVonne’s husband passed away, and although it was difficult for her to lose the love of her life, she dealt with her sadness by becoming even more involved. She served on the Fredericksburg Library Board, the Plum Creek Golf Course Board, and the Plum Creek Art Gallery Council. She was particularly proud that she was able to play a part in bringing an art gallery and studio to the small town she called home for much of her life.

She was an active member of the Peace Church, belonged to Curves, and loved quilting and going on quilting retreats; in other words, she never had a problem “filling” her days. She also enjoyed a glass of wine or two when she was with her family and friends playing cards or just visiting.

But the best days for LaVonne came when she was able to be with her 11 grandchildren and her 17 great-grandchildren. She was a great mom, don’t get us wrong, but she was a fabulous grandma who loved showing off her uniquely painted fingernails to one and all. 

LaVonne was a remarkable woman who touched the lives of so many through her 85 years. She created lifelong memories for her children, her grandchildren, her “greats,” her friends, and the hundreds of school children she taught over the years. As sad as they are at her passing, they know her faith has reunited her with Jim and the couple is dancing and playing cards in heaven.

LaVonne is survived by four children, Diana Bisping, Dorreen (Jim) Franzen, Dennis (Sheryl) Hartson, Daryl (Kimberlee) Hartson all of Fredericksburg, IA; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren with one on the way; one brother, Duane Coen of Decorah, IA, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jim in 2003; one sister, Carol Annett; three step-brothers, Clarence, John, and Raymond Shannon; one step-sister, Allene Roeder; and many aunts and uncles.

New Hampton Tribune

121 West Main Street
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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