On Monday, January 14, 2019, Lavon Rose Schwarting passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 91 years. Lavon Baldauf was born as the second child on September 15, 1927, to Joseph and Mabel Baldauf in Hay Springs, NE. The family moved to Prairie Hill Farm when she was three years old. She attended grade school in Clinton, NE. After Joe and Mabel moved their family to Rushville, she graduated high school and taught at the Gottier School. Lavon loved her seven sisters and brothers and has shared many happy memories about her childhood.
She married Orville Schwarting in 1948 and moved to Batesland, SD to farm and ranch. Four children were born: Joen, Jean, Jerry, and Jan. Orville and Lavon built a house in town so their children could attend Gordon Public Schools. Later the family moved to Porcupine, SD to run the Big Foot Guest Ranch. Orville and Lavon built their small ranch into a very successful operation. Moving cattle, branding, feeding cattle, driving grain trucks, cooking for hired men, raising a huge garden and welcoming cousins and others kept her busy. No grass could grow under her feet!
In 1970, Lavon moved to Lincoln and worked as a receptionist for Governor Exon. She spent many years working with the disadvantaged through the Mountain Plains training program in Nebraska and Wyoming, Elliott School in Lincoln, and Decatur Place and SunValley in intercity Denver.
Lavon had an intense love for learning and travel. She received a pilot’s license in the 1960s, at age fifty she went to college for her bachelor’s degree in computer and library science, and at 55 she earned a Master’s degree. She taught students elementary school through college. She enjoyed traveling to Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and England and throughout the US.
She was fearless! Whatever she wanted to do she would go after it. She was dearly loved and admired by her siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was tirelessly involved in her family, church, community, state and country: Brownies leader, Cub Scout leader, Regional Arts Alliance, Farmers Union and Wheatgrowers, Flying Farmers of America, Highway 20 tourism, Democratic Party, Women’s League of Voters, Governor’s Committee on Children and Youth, Parent Teacher Organization and chairman of the PTA legislation committee. She was member of St. Leo Catholic Church since she returned to Gordon in 2004. She took great joy in teaching and playing bridge.
Lavon was preceded in death by her parents Mabel and Joseph Baldauf, Orville Schwarting, brother Boyd Baldauf, and granddaughters Tiffany and Tracie Hensley.
Survived by children Joen Elliott (Florence, CO), Jean and Chick Hensley (Gordon, NE), Jerry and Boots Schwarting (White River, SD), and Jan -- Sister Maura Therese, CK (Lincoln, NE); 7 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; siblings Marjorie Williams, Berthajean Johnson, Dan and Lona Baldauf, Josemay and Don Anderson, Mablemarie and Gary Datus, many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 18, 2019, 10:00 AM at St. Leo Catholic Church. Burial will be at Fairview Cemetery in Rushville with a luncheon following at St. Leo Church. A vigil service and rosary will be on Thursday, January 17, 2019, 7:00 PM with a reception following.
Memorials may be given to the Gordon Lion’s Club for the vision assistance program and sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.