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LaVonne O'Connor

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o'connor lavonne 21-11-03s


LaVonne C. O’Connor, 93. of Carroll, passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, at St. Anthony Nursing Home.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll. The Rev. Timothy Schott will be the celebrant. Eucharistic ministers will be from St. John Paul II Catholic Parish. Lectors will be Sean O’Connor and Jon Houghton. Gift bearers will be Kimberly Kountz, Stephanie Houghton and Sarah Jones. Music will be by Kathy Halbur. Casket bearers will be LaVonne’s grandsons Daniel O’Connor, Sean O’Connor, Andy O’Connor, Ryan Jones as well as Jonathan Kountz and Michael VanBelkum. Burial will be at Mount Olivet Cemetery, next to her late beloved husband, Dr. O.M. O’Connor.

Public visitation will be at Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Carroll (, from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, as well as between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. before services on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at St. Lawrence Church. A rosary will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at Dahn and Woodhouse, led by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.

LaVonne Clara Ann was born on July 29, 1928, in Breda, Iowa, to Joseph H. and Anna M. Stangl. She was the sixth of seven children. The family moved to Carroll where LaVonne lived the rest of her life. She attended SS. Peter and Paul Elementary School and graduated from Carroll High School. Besides learning the arts of cooking and homemaking from her mother, LaVonne worked in the Carroll Theater evenings after school and studied each night before bed. After high school, she graduated from Commercial Business College in Omaha, Nebraska, where she also worked as a nanny. Upon returning to Carroll, she worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company.

It was at the Carroll City Club, “Iowa’s Finest Nightclub,” where she first met her future husband and eternal love, Dr. O.M. “Doc” O’Connor (also affectionately known as “Dutch”). They were married on Saturday, June 19, 1954. “Doc” was an optometrist in Carroll, and LaVonne kept the books for the business and sometimes worked as receptionist. Together they were highly active and social. They belonged to the American Legion, the Carroll Rotary and were on both golf and bowling leagues. They appeared on the “Let’s Go Bowling” TV show hosted by Jim Zabel. They enjoyed nights out dancing and playing cards, especially bridge.

LaVonne belonged to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. As a sorority member, she held several positions, including five terms as president. She also served as president of the Iowa Optometric Auxiliary. LaVonne held many officer positions over the years and always sincerely cared for everything she was involved in. Somehow, she found time to serve as president and vice president of the St. Lawrence Guild where she contributed great recipes for St. Lawrence cookbook and presided over Monsignor Henry Karhoff’s 50-year anniversary of priesthood celebration at St. Lawrence Church.

LaVonne was a devoted wife and mother. Home renovation, sewing, gardening, and preserving took up much of her time, but she always made time each day to help her children with schoolwork, sports, music lessons and everything else that came up. There was a soft spot in her heart for animals, especially dogs, and at one point the family had seven. She and “Doc” planned many memorable “road trip” family vacations all over the country. “Doc” was an avid hunter and fisherman and, although LaVonne did not share these interests, she would turn whatever he brought home into a delicious meal. She loved cooking for her family and was always creating new recipes, some of which became famous within certain circles in Carroll. Even today, some Carroll residents wish they could still get their holiday peanut brittle from her. Frequent visits with family in town and as well as caring for her parents daily, until they passed away, kept her quite busy. LaVonne and “Doc” had two children, Vince and Colleen.

Following “Doc”s sudden and premature death on Nov. 16, 1971, LaVonne decided to remain in Carroll. She worked at St. Anthony Regional Hospital for over 30 years. At the hospital she again sometimes worked as receptionist, as she did for “Doc”, and for which she is often remembered because of her kind and pleasant disposition. She continued to bowl and golf (up to 90 years of age), and also took up tennis, racquetball, painting and helped to babysit her seven treasured grandchildren. Later, in retirement, she was blessed to spend time with her great-grandchildren.

All of her life, LaVonne was well known for her sense of humor, radiant smile and considerate nature.

LaVonne is survived by her children: Vincent J. (Angela) O’Connor of Madison, Wisconsin, and Colleen M. (Chris) Jones of St. Joseph, Missouri; her grandchildren: Daniel O’Connor, Sean O’Connor, Andrew O’Connor, Stephanie (Jon) Houghton, Sarah (Michael VanBelkum) Jones, Ryan (Jennifer) Jones, and Kimberly (Jonathan) Kountz; four great-grandchildren; her brother-in-law: Don Nehman of Sac City; and many nephews, nieces and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Anna and Joseph; her husband: Dr. O.M. O’Connor; her brothers and sisters: Myra (Pete) Lopez, Alton (Marion) Stangl, Vic (Marjorie) Stangl, Ralph (Jane) Stangl, Ivan (Marlene) Stangl and Joan (Don) Nehman.

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Mark Stangl

LaVonne is the last member of Ann and Joe Stangl's children to survive. I remmeber her and Doc when we visited and the many times since. Last was over 3 years ago. It is the passing of a generation that will be long missed. I was always happy the hear the stories from my dad, Ralph about growing up in Carroll and his later life about the family he loved.

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