|Birth: ||Feb. 17, 1920|
|Death: ||Oct. 11, 2010|
La Crosse County
Sister LaVonne Abts
Sister LaVonne Abts, FSPA, 90, died Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in the 72nd year of her religious profession.
Sister LaVonne was born on Feb. 17, 1920, to Emil and Dorothy (Rothering) Abts on a farm near Fountain City, Wis. At baptism she was given the name Dorothy Helen. After five years the family moved off the farm to town where her father found work with an oil company. Dorothy missed the big yard to play in. After much coaxing, her parents allowed her to begin school at age five at St. Mary's. Summers were spent visiting aunts and uncles, hikes into the country, picnic lunches in the park and on the bluffs, visiting her aunt and cousin at St. Rose (Sisters Ethel and Lucia Rothering). Dorothy attended one year of high school and then asked her parents permission to enter the convent. She was surprised when they said she was too young and asked her to stay home one more year. Dorothy entered St. Rose convent on Aug. 15, 1935.
Dorothy was received into the novitiate on Aug. 5, 1937, and was given the name Sister LaVonne. She pronounced first vows on Aug. 12, 1939, and final vows on Aug. 10, 1945.
Entering the field of education, Sister LaVonne served as an elementary teacher for eight years before teaching on the secondary level for five years. She taught chemistry at Viterbo College for a total of 22 years. In between those years she taught at the university in San Salvador, Central America, Monrovia, Liberia, and State University in Nigeria. From 1987-1991 Sister LaVonne served as director of the Hispanic Pre-Health Science at Mt. St. Mary College in Los Angeles. After a three year term as North American Coordinator for GATE (a FSPA-sponsored ministry), a year in El Paso, Texas, doing social work for Catholic Charities, and three years with the SIS program in Milwaukee, Sister LaVonne retired at Villa St. Joseph.
Community members, family and friends remember Sister LaVonne as a very intelligent woman, a superb teacher and the perfect lady. She was dedicated, precise and vivacious. Students loved Sister LaVonne as a teacher. Working with the poor and other cultures called her to serve in San Salvador, Nigeria, El Paso, Texas and Milwaukee.
Sister LaVonne is survived by her Franciscan community; two brothers, Allen Abts, Fountain City, and Nathan (Mary Kay) Abts, DePere, Wis.; two sisters, Ethel Kelley, Mesa, Ariz., and Mary Jane (Lyle) Bohlinger, Fountain City; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Cleo and four sisters, Marjorie Wnuk, Audrey Woychek, Janice Reuter and Vera Kafer.
Friends may call after 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, at St. Rose Convent, La Crosse. A prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Mary of the Angels Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 15, in the chapel. Burial will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, La Crosse.
Memorials may be sent to Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, 912 Market Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601-4782.
Obituary from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Emil William Abts (1894 - 1981)
Theodora Mary Rothering Abts (1891 - 1985)
Marjorie Wnuk (1917 - 1994)*
Vera Mary Abts Kafer (1919 - 2010)*
LaVonne Abts (1920 - 2010)
Janice Mary Abts Reuter (1922 - 2009)*
Cleo Joseph Abts (1935 - 2001)*
Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery
La Crosse County
Created by: Devil Kitty Designs
Record added: Apr 12, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68268792