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LaVonne M. (Draeger) Hanke

February 13, 1925 ~ January 26, 2021 (age 95)

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LaVonne M. Hanke, age 95, of Appleton, went to be with her Lord, Jesus Christ on January 26, 2021.  She was a sister, aunt, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother at the time of her passing.  LaVonne was born to Otto and Hilda (Buser) Draeger on Friday the 13th of July, 1925.  She was baptized on August 9, 1925.  She was confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wittenberg on June 19, 1938.  She married Earl Hanke on July 11, 1948 at St. Paul Lutheran, Wittenberg.  Earl and LaVonne had three devoted children:  David, Thomas, and Rebekah.

Earl and LaVonne celebrated 54 years together before he passed away on March 4, 2003.  LaVonne worked at AAL until David arrived.  Then she stayed home and raised David, Thomas, and Rebekah.  When the kids entered school, she went to work as a cook at FVL.  She taught Sunday School at St. Paul and also at St. Matthew Lutheran Evangelical Church.  Her favorite hymn she taught her pupils was “Jesus Loves Me.”  She then got her nursing degree and spent years at AMC working nights.  After retirement she pursued an English degree at UWO.

LaVonne was a devoted member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church.  She belonged to Ladies Aide, DORCAS, and helped out at FVL and St. Matthew whenever she was needed.

She will be dearly missed by her children:  her son Dave and wife Kay, her son Tom and wife Pam and her daughter Becky and her husband Mark.

Left to cherish their yearly handwritten birthday messages from Grandma are her much loved five grandchildren:  Andrew and wife Melanie Hanke, Adam and wife Linda Hanke, Adam Garvey, Olivia Nichols and Sophia Nichols.  LaVonne felt very blessed to live to be called great-grandma by Lillian, Jordan, Cooper and Sarah Hanke.

When the baseball season rolls around, she will be especially missed backing her Cubs while her sister Sylvia Long and her children:  Mary, Tim, and Paul and their families who root for the Brewers.  Also missing Aunt Vonny will be Julie, Mary, Terry and Peter.

Close family friends missing LaVonne will be JR Olm and Laurie Thern.

Her parents, her husband Earl, her brother John, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Bernadine and Robert Hoekstra, Leonard Long, Ardellis Draeger, her niece Paula Fawley and nephew Steven Hoekstra have already reunited with her in Heaven. 

The family is especially grateful to all the nurses from Ascension Hospice and Living Tree who made LaVonnes last days so comfortable - especially Laura.

Private family services were held, and she was entombed next to Earl at Highland Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to St. Matthew Lutheran Church.

Philippians 1:21 - For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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