LaVaun Arlene Houge
Our beloved mother gifted us one last Mother’s Day together as she passed away that evening, May 14, 2023. LaVaun (Albertson) was born on a farm near Scarville, Iowa on Sept. 27, 1929 to Lauris and Marie Albertson. She was baptized, confirmed, sang solos and taught Sunday School at Bethel Lutheran Church in Vinje, IA.
LaVaun moved to Bricelyn her sophomore year to care for her maternal grandmother, Tilda Peterson. During high school, she was a cheerleader and reporter for the Bricelyn Breeze. Following graduation, she studied Comptometry at Mankato Commercial College. She became a manager of the Wilson Company’s beef department, meeting with cattle buyers daily and writing financial reports after the meat was processed. During that period, LaVaun met her future husband Thomas Blaine Houge. She loved dancing with her curly-haired boyfriend and told us people often cleared the dance floor to watch them jitterbug. They subsequently married in 1951 after which LaVaun devoted all her time to becoming the extraordinary wife and mother we all knew and loved.
LaVaun and Tom were blessed with four children; Deborah Hebner, Sheree Theobald, Linda Gustafson and Thomas (Tommy) Houge. She cherished and was cherished by her surviving eight grandchildren; Jill Hebner, Andrea Hebner, Michael Hebner, Sara Wylde (Dave), Nick Theobald (Kari), April Severson (Kevin), Kelsey Gustafson (Stephen Mueller) and Bekka Gustafson (Brett Sorenson); six precious great-grandchildren: Willow Mueller, Remi Mueller, Lily Theobald, Layne Theobald, Violet Wylde, Robert Jeffrey Sorenson (RJ) and two bonus great-grandchildren, Zeppelin Mueller and Sterling Mueller. She is also survived by her son-in-law Jeff Gustafson, sisters-in-law Betty Albertson, Karen Houge and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Tom, sister Geri, brother Leon and son-in-law Frank Hebner.
LaVaun had many happy hours painting landscapes, flowers and portraits on canvas with oils. Her immediate family members each treasure a painting she has given them. Other pastimes she enjoyed were bridge club and golf. She was an avid reader who imagined visiting Heaven’s Library. She enjoyed fiction but some of her favorite reads were the Bible and books about Heaven. She was a curious self-learner reading multiple books about inventing, medicine, nutrition, investment, and art. She kept many notebooks that she called “her other brain” with tidbits of information to share with family when they needed advice.
LaVaun spent the last few years and months in the compassionate care of staff at St. Johns on Fountain Lake and Rochester Mayo Hospice. She belonged to First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea for over 65 years. She faithfully brought her children there for church and Sunday school. She celebrated their baptisms, confirmations and some of their weddings there. Her strong faith helped shape her into the wonderful mother, wife, grandmother and friend we were all blessed to have with us for 93 years.
Memorial Service: Saturday, June 10, 2:00 PM (Visitation 1:00 PM)
First Lutheran Church Chapel, 301 W. Clark St, Albert Lea, MN