Lavonne D. Perseke, age 84 of Waconia, MN, formerly of Ortonville and Fergus Falls, MN passed away at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia on July 22, 2022. She was born December 7, 1937 in Milbank, SD to Paul and Daisy (Goldau) Schwarze. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Alban Township, SD.
She grew up on her parent’s farm east of Milbank and attended Alban Country School through grade eight. She then resided with her grandparents Arthur and Elfrieda Schwarze to attend Ortonville High School, graduating in 1955.
On April 7, 1956, she married Merlen H. Perseke at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Merlen and Lavonne lived in Ortonville most of their married life and were blessed with two children, Sherri and Paul, whom they dearly loved, raising them with a strong work ethic and faith.
Lavonne began her working career as a receptionist and assistant to Dr. John Watzke and Dr. Robert Yaeger Optometrists and then Dr. Leslie Olson, Dentist in Ortonville. She worked for Big Stone Cheese Factory in Big Stone City, SD for nearly 34 years as an accountant, Office Manager, and then Administration Coordinator until the company was sold. After Big Stone Cheese, she worked for Valley Farm Equipment in Milbank, SD for more than 10 years as office Manager and Accountant until her retirement.
Merlen and Lavonne were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville. Both Merlen and Lavonne were active within the congregation. She taught 7th grade Sunday School and Confirmation Classes. She and Merlen were youth leaders for the Active Christian Teens and members of the evangelism team. In 1992 Lavonne and Merlen became members of Abiding Faith Free Lutheran Church, where she was a member of WMF, Love Supper Committee, Congregational Treasurer, Bible Study leader, and prayer team member.
In 2006, Merlen and Lavonne purchased a home and moved to Fergus Falls to spend their retirement years, becoming members of Calvary Free Lutheran Church. In Fergus Falls, Lavonne volunteered at the Community Food Shelf, was a member of Y’s Folks in addition to a number of Bible Studies as a leader and participant.
Lavonne loved her Lord and Savior. It gave her great pleasure to lead and attend Bible studies, sharing her faith while growing in her own faith. She was a prayer warrior and believed strongly in the privilege and power of prayer. The Lord Jesus was her best friend and helper.
Lavonne enjoyed reading and researching, building her and Merlen’s family trees on Ancestry.com. She found great joy in connecting with her mother’s relatives still living in Germany. She traveled to Germany numerous times to visit with them and stayed connected through email and Skype.
Lavonne is survived by her children: Sherri Olson of Minnetonka, MN and Paul (Jackie Dornfeld) of Minneapolis, MN, Grandchildren: Jolene Olson of Minnetonka, Kelsey Dornfeld of Madison, WI, and Matthew (Karly) Olson, along with Great Granddaughter, Esme Olson all of Hibbing, MN.
She is also survived by her siblings: Carol (Ken) Dahlgren of Estes Park, CO, Duane (Jean) Schwarze of Blaine, MN, David Schwarze of Big Stone City, SD and Loren Schwarze of St. Peter, MN.
She was preceded in death by her husband Merlen, parents Paul and Daisy Schwarze, grandparents, and son-in-law Robert Boeddeker.
Funeral services will be held at Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2022 with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will immediately follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Fergus Falls.
Lavonne was a strong and determined woman who dearly loved her family and will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
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