LaVonne Ellingson (Safe), 83, passed away peacefully
on November 23 at Oak Park Senior Living in Stillwater due to complications caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
Her legacy of love, compassion, and joy survives through her 5 children: Mark (Kay), Brett (Alison), Gregg
(Robin), Heidi West, and Todd (Beth) along with 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. LaVonne was
born in Red Wing, MN to Burt and Minnie Safe. The family moved to Spring Valley, WI following the death
of Minnie as a result of complications at childbirth. Burt married Luella Satrum, who raised LaVonne as her
own daughter, alongside LaVonne’s 4 treasured siblings and step-siblings. LaVonne was confirmed at St.
John’s Lutheran church in Spring Valley and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1954. She attended
Luther College and Wisconsin State College-River Falls where she graduated in 1958. She married Ken
Ellingson and took her first job as a teacher in Osceola, WI. Teaching children was a passion for LaVonne and
she worked in the Osceola school system until her retirement in 1996. Her role as an elementary librarian for
26 years allowed her to share her love for the written word with thousands of young people. Her primary
passion in life however was her children and subsequent grandchildren. She was a special mentor to each of
them and supported them with an unconditional love that will never be forgotten. Following retirement, she
moved to St Paul, MN to be closer to her post-employment passions, volunteering for a variety of causes that
she treasured. She was a docent at the Wiseman Museum, an usher at the Fitzgerald Theater, a guardian ad-
litem for Washington County, a board member and volunteer at the History Theater, and an ardent supporter of
public television among many other organizations. She was an adventurous traveler, seeing much of the world
during her retirement years. We thank the many friends and family who supported her through this battle along
with the talented and loving staff at Oak Park Senior Living. A visitation will be held Thursday, December 5
from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at Bradshaw (2800 Curve Crest Blvd, https://www.bradshawfuneral.com/bradshaw--
stillwatereast-metro) in Stillwater. A funeral service will be held December 6 at 2:00 PM at Central
Presbyterian (500 Cedar St, St. Paul https://centralforgood.org/directions) with visitation one hour prior to
service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to her family for disbursement to LaVonne’s
favorite charities. The funeral will be a celebration of life and LaVonne requests her friends and family wear
bright colors in her memory.
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