Gladys “Lavonne” L. Smith, age 96, of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, passed away Wednesday, February 2, 2022, at Benedictine Nursing Home in Owatonna, Minnesota. Gladys Lavonne Jolson was born on November 30, 1925, in Geneva, Minnesota, to Edwin and Winifred (Dunn) Jolson. Lavonne graduated from Blooming Prairie High School in 1943. Following graduation, she attended the Minnesota School of Business. On February 20, 1949, Lavonne was united in marriage to John Smith at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church in Austin. She did accounting for Cargill until the couple’s first child was born. Lavonne became a stay-at-home mother and raised the couple’s five children. She also helped on the farm milking cows, raising chickens, and selling their eggs. Lavonne enjoyed playing cards and dominos, collecting cardinals, shopping, gardening, and canning. She was a member of Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church where she was active with Ruth Circle and was WELCA treasurer for many years. Lavonne was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary and was active with the Udolpho II project group. She loved missing vowel puzzle books and watching her favorite baseball team, the Minnesota Twins. She also enjoyed her weekly trips to the farm to see the goats. Lavonne adored and loved her great grandchildren with all her heart and enjoyed watching all their sporting events. Lavonne will be remembered for her witty personality and contagious laugh. She will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Lavonne is survived by her children, Doug Smith of LeMars, Iowa, Susan (George) Schechinger of Adams, Minnesota, Paul (Jackie) Smith of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, and Carol (Doug) Harvey of Owatonna, Minnesota; daughter-in-law, Jean Smith Robinson of Fairmont, Minnesota, 12 grandchildren, Erik (Anissa) Smith, Matthew Smith, Nicholas (Laurie) Smith, Craig Schechinger, Jared (Kristine) Smith, Adam (Amanda) Smith, Derek (Emily) Harvey, Logan (Sara) Harvey, Sara (Chris) Ihrke, Jessica (Pat) Skinner, Angela Schechinger, and Alyssa (Kyle) Huisenga; 21 great grandchildren; sister, Evelyn Johnson of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota; and brother-in-law, Karl Westerman of Rochester, Minnesota. She was preceded in death by her husband, John; parents, Edwin and Winifred; son, Tom Smith; daughter-in-law, Diane Smith; sisters, Muriel Westerman and Eileen (Ellsworth) Ulland; and brother-in-law, Ernest Johnson.
The funeral service for Lavonne will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 7, 2022, at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, rural Austin. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Red Oak Grove Cemetery, rural Austin. Memorials are preferred to Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church. Services are prearranged and performed with Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home.