LaVonne Sarah O’Brien, age 83 of Baraboo passed away on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 at her home with her family by her side. LaVonne, daughter of Otto and Sarah (Lyon) Schenkat was born Dec. 27, 1931 in North Freedom at the family farm. She was a graduate of Baraboo High School. On Feb. 9, 1952 she was united in marriage to Robert O’Brien at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Baraboo. She was the center of the family. Everyone had a place in her heart, which was so big it had so much love to fill. She reassured everyone, dried their tears and gave them hope and always took time to share their problems and challenges that she took on as her own. They always say “Take on more than you can handle” she did that and then handled it. She urged her children to stay in school and sports and reach as far as they could. She taught her children to cook at her side and made a career out of it. Mom was an accomplished rider of fine horses and was in parades with a smile a mile wide as her horse pranced down the street. She played competitive basketball in school and was a great outside shooter.
She married a dashing Army Sergeant to be and had four fine kids. As time went by she worked for Briggs & Stratton in Milwaukee to add income. It was hard, dirty work but she took great pride in making a quality piston and a union job that was well paid. She later worked in a photo processing center in a technical position that she excelled in and enjoyed. She did this for her family, not herself to have more and to give her children a chance at a better life; to supplement her husband’s hard working management positions.
In 1974 she had sold over a million in real estate, which was a huge number at the time. She won a trip to Vegas which she and Bob enjoyed shows by Elvis, Wilson Pickett, James Brown and others. She soon started her own real estate office and enjoyed success in Illinois and later Wisconsin well into her 60’s. Since retiring she began cooking full time for her family, never missing a beat on all birthdays and holidays.
Survivors include her husband of over 63 years, Bob; children, Bob, Jr., Joseph (Sharon), Ginger (Don) Hughes, Jacalyn (Chris) O’Brien Coren; grandchildren, Andrea, Kelly, Michelle, Tiffany, Nicholas, Benjamin, Dustin, Jonah, Jacob, Kelsey; great-grandchildren, Brendon, Nathan, Madeline, Ella, Hadley, Jace, Lilliana, Natalie; sister-in-law, Lola Huber; special niece, Diane Smith; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and four siblings.
Private family graveside services will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Randy Krszjzaniek and Agrace Hospice for the wonderful care shown to LaVonne.
She is our rock, our fountain of love and inspiration and embodies all that is kind and good. God bless and keep our dear mother.