Cover photo for LaVonne Shelton's Obituary
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1932 LaVonne 2014

LaVonne Shelton

May 7, 1932 — December 9, 2014

LAVONNE SHELTON May 7, 1932-December 9, 2014 LaVonne Shelton slipped away from us quickly and quietly on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 6:30 AM at the St. Joseph's Hospital in Park Rapids, MN. At the age of 82, she now has joined her parents, Ernest and Ruby (O'Hearn) Shelton, her brothers: Tom, Jack & Rudy Shelton and her many beloved dogs in a much better world. LaVonne became a nonconformist growing up in Biwabik, MN. She refused to learn how to sew or cook; but her joy of books and the written word got her through. A strike in the mines ended her first job as a truck driver. The company had to put a governor on her truck to keep her from tearing up the iron ore roads. After attending one year at Virginia Junior College, LaVonne was one of the small percentage of women that took on the University of Minnesota. She graduated with a teaching degree and took a job as an English Teacher in Holdingford, MN. Within just a few weeks at her new job she bought the flashiest Chevy she could find. LaVonne continued her teaching career in Chisholm, MN, but soon decided to return to the University of Minnesota where she earned a second degree in elementary education. She was able to use her new degree to teach the fifth grade in the Minneapolis Public System. LaVonne then went on to teach English at the Sebeka Public School. She ended her teaching career with a ride around the track in a limousine with the student body cheering her on. Between teaching jobs, she worked as the Director of the Park Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Both the main street business folks and the resort owners came to know LaVonne as some one who always said what she felt. With her vast knowledge of words she was the person to say just how she felt on any issues that arose. LaVonne extended her service to community as member of the Park Rapids Historical Society. LaVonne's final challenge was to learn how to handle dogs in competition. Through the years she showed five Tibetan Spaniels and earned five championships in a minimal amount of time for each one. She leaves behind two Tibetan Spaniels who are son and daughter of her great champion, "Gator". They were whelped in her dressing room and have never left her side until now. Every night you can find the two dogs "Scarlet O'Hara" and "Rhett Butler" sitting in the window waiting for their dear LaVonne to come home. LaVonne is survived by her brother's children and although she had no children of her own, she is survived by thousands of students she loved as her own. Hopefully in LaVonne's new world, there are flashy cars and beautiful boats to fish from and move with great speed on land and water. A celebration of her life will be held in the spring, her favorite time of the year. A notice will appear in the Park Rapids Enterprise giving the date and time. For further information please feel free to drop a note to Joan Bradach, 31847 Little Mantrap Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470
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