Lavon Evelyn Grannes

Lavon Evelyn Grannes passed away May 8, 2024. Visitation will be Monday, May 20th, 5-7 pm at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, Shakopee (833 Marshall Road). Celebration of Life service will be Tuesday, May 21st, at 11:00 am at Cross of Peace Lutheran Church, (1506 Wood Duck Trail) with an hour of visitation prior from 10-11. Lavon will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Memorials are directed to Cross of Peace Lutheran Church.

Lavon was born September 13, 1933, in Echo, MN to Clarence and Alma (Muenchow) Renneke. She was the youngest of five children and the only daughter. The work ethic that characterized her life began on the farm where she grew up.

She met the love of her life, Gordon Grannes, at a dance in Vesta. They were married September 12, 1953, in Echo, MN and together they forged a partnership based upon love and faith. Gordon and Lavon raised four sons: Steven born in 1954, Tom born in 1961, Paul born in 1964, and Bruce born in 1969.

Lavon attended Posen Township country school and later Echo town school. She laughed when remembering how much smarter she was in country school than she was in   town school. When Lavon was in high school, she was excused in the afternoons to go home to care for her mother and do the housework.

From childhood, Lavon embraced adventure and risk. She wore a brace on one of her legs because of an injury incurred when she jumped out of the hay loft to the ground with an umbrella when she was six years old.  Years later, her sons found that brace in the attic. It seemed so tiny.

Life on the farm involved plenty of hard work. This resulted in a greater appreciation of being able to go to town dances. Her father Clarence was a trumpet player in a polka band. Lavon loved going to polka dances with her cousin Fern in Walnut Grove, dancing to the live music of famous polka artists Whoopee John and Frankie Yankovich.

Lavon’s mother Alma was sick during her teenage years. Much time was spent going back and forth to the University of Minnesota Hospital on Highway 212 at the speed limit of 35 mph. The medical bills added up and limited gift giving. Lavon overheard her mother on the phone asking her father if he could at least get Lavon an apron for Christmas. When Lavon married, she left home with only $1.40 in grocery change. The financial hardships of her youth influenced her work ethic, guaranteeing that her family would never be in want.

Lavon cherished her parents and brothers. Her favorite picture is one where she is 12 years old standing with her brothers in front of the hog house and garden. The contrast of the happy children in front of the symbols of farm work is a reminder of the work each generation does to make a better life for its children.

Lavon and Gordon worked hard side-by-side to care for and provide for their growing family. As the family grew, their sons and eventually their grandchildren worked beside them in farming and the rental business. Their family played hard as well, and Lavon enjoyed supporting her sons in speedskating and other sports. As a speedskating mother, Lavon was a force to be reckoned with. Deer hunting as a family was important to their family culture and Lavon continued to join her sons and grandsons on the family farm for deer season into her 80s.

Lavon had a solid head for business and was not afraid to take a risk or work hard. In addition to their jobs, Lavon as a waitress and Gordon as a technician, they invested their savings into the rental industry, purchasing multifamily housing buildings. That gamble paid off and supported their dreams for their family.

They also enjoyed occasional visits to the local casino where they were sometimes joined by Burton and Shirley Grannes. Lavon was a shrewd blackjack player, known and respected by dealers and players. After Gordon passed away, Lavon never again visited the casino.

Lavon was confirmed at Peace Lutheran Church in Echo, Minnesota. She had a trusting faith in Jesus her entire life. She often wondered aloud what Heaven was like. Lavon and Gordon were members of Bethany Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, and then Cross of Peace Lutheran Church in Shakopee. After Gordon and Lavon moved to Minneapolis, they attended a Billy Graham revival which strengthened their faith. The simple “believe and be saved” message was accepted by Lavon and Gordon. When Lavon was in the hospital she welcomed prayers with the Chaplain. These prayers lifted her spirit. While hospitalized she always kept the Lutheran Catechism at her bedside.

Lavon loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She looked forward to family gatherings and celebrations. In recent years, she relished attending school programs and sporting events featuring her great-grandchildren. She loved going to Marla’s softball games. The visits from her family, especially the great-grandchildren, were always cherished moments filled with hugs and lively chatter about their days.

Lavon will be greatly missed by her loving family, Steven and Sally, Tom and Gini, Paul and Judy, Bruce and Elaine; her grandchildren, Sarah and Jason Cobb, Emily and Christopher Allen, Jeffrey and Julia Grannes, Daniel and Michelle Grannes, Trey Grannes, Wyatt Grannes; great-grandchildren, Marla, Liam, Charlotte, Winston, Stella, Benjamin, Theo, Ezra, Milaina, and Violet.

Privileged to have shared her life are her step-grandchildren: Sara and Nathan Becker and their children, James and Crystal Dvorak and their children, Rob and Michelle Smith-Dvorak and their children; Jeff and Maggie Barlow and their daughter; Justin and Annie Barlow; Josh Barlow; Kaily and Anna Viergutz; and Alexandria and Tyler Thompson and their son.

She is survived by her brothers- and sisters-in-law, Burton and Shirley Grannes, Muriel Schmidt, Charles and Judy Grannes, Melvin and Kay Grannes; numerous nieces and nephews.

Lavon was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon; her parents Clarence and Alma Renneke; her brothers, Wayne, Milton, Myron, and Lyle Renneke; her sisters- and brothers-in-law, Jeannette Renneke, Virginia Renneke, Donna Renneke, Joan Renneke Grannes, Orland and Pat Grannes, Alden Grannes, Leona Grannes, and Philip Schmidt.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation