Elenore Mae VanBerkum Lawrence, daughter of James and Magdeline (VanderBerg) VanBerkum, was born March 21, 1930, in West Branch Township near Sioux Center, Iowa (She always said she was born at the fork of the river near Caramel.)
Her childhood years were spent in Rock Valley, Iowa, where she received her early education, graduating from Rock Valley High School. She attended Sheldon Vocational College where she received her teaching degree in early education. She taught for one year in a one room schoolhouse in Plato Township.
Elly married Duane “Dewey” Lawrence on June 8, 1951, in Rock Valley. Following their marriage, they lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for 15 years where she worked in a nursing home. They moved to Spencer, Iowa, in 1966, where she worked at HyLine Hatchery for 16 years, retiring in 1985. Following her retirement, she bought and sold antiques.
Some of her hobbies included baking for family and friends, gardening, painting, making her famous potato salad and had collected over 400 Christmas ornaments.
After Dewey’s passing in 2013, she moved to Langdon, Iowa, to be closer to family. She loved to sit on her front porch and read and watched her grandchildren play across the street.
She was a member of the Langdon United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women.
Elly passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 88. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Arlyn; son-in-law, Lee Spears; and her husband of 63 years, Dewey.
Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Randy (Vickie) Lawrence of Drexel, Missouri, and Ken (Jeannie) Lawrence of Langdon, Iowa; her daughters, Val (Kreg) Paulsen of Langdon, Iowa, and Kerrie (Dan) Kramme of Spirit Lake, Iowa; 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren; brothers: Jim (Dee Keagon) VanBerkum of Rock Valley, Iowa, Les (Mary Jane) VanBerkum of Le Mars, Iowa, John (Denise) VanBerkum of Jackson, Michigan, plus many relatives and friends
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