Larona June Elbers, 76, Steen, died Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at the Sanford Hospice Cottage in Luverne.
A funeral service was Monday, July 25, at the Reformed Church of Steen. Burial followed at the Eastside Cemetery, Steen.
Larona Aukes was born June 28, 1940, to Harvey and Alice (Dunn) Aukes in Luverne. As an infant she lived on a farm northeast of Luverne. When she was 4, her family moved to a farm north of Steen and later to another farm northwest of Steen. She attended school at District 61 until the eighth grade, at which time the school was closed and consolidated with the Hills School District. Upon graduation from Hills High School she attended and graduated from Nettleton College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in accounting.
Larona married James Elbers on Sept. 7, 1962, at the Steen Reformed Church. She worked at the Blue Ribbon Hatchery in Hills for two years and at a law firm and finance company in Sioux Falls until the birth of her daughter. She then stayed at home and raised her children for eight years. Upon reentering the workforce she worked at A.R. Wood Manufacturing in Luverne until they closed. She returned to Sioux Falls and worked at Western Surety Company (CNA Surety) for 27 years in the claim and accounting departments until retiring in March of 2012. Her husband, James, died in March of 2010.
She was baptized, confirmed, and was a member of the Steen Evangelical United Brethren Church of Steen where she sang in the choir, sang with her sisters, played flute solos, taught Sunday school and was the church treasurer. When the church closed in 1968, she became a member of the State Line Presbyterian Church in rural Ellsworth. When that church closed, she joined the American Reformed Church in Luverne and then the Steen Reformed Church where she was a member until her death.
She enjoyed gardening, especially flowers. Her lily garden was her pride and joy. She also enjoyed looming, music, fishing, spending time at the lake home and with her grandchildren.
She is survived by her children, Todd (Diane) Elbers, Luverne, and Tracy (Lincoln) Ferguson, Heron Lake; three grandchildren, Joshua Vanveldhuizen, Jaidyn Elbers, and Jesse Elbers, all of Luverne; and one great-grandchild, Azalea Vanveldhuizen; two sisters, Martha Bertelsen, Chadron, Nebraska, and Harriet (Dennis) Manning, Des Moines, Iowa; her in-laws, Marlene Aukes, Steen, Wilma Elbers, Luverne, Arlene (James) Church, Chanhassen, Marvin (Jean) Elbers, Brandon, South Dakota, Carol (Marion) Van Bemmel, Luverne, and Beverly (Gary) Siebring, George, Iowa; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Larona was preceded in death by her husband, James; her parents; a brother, Harley Aukes; a brother-in-law Gary Bertelsen; and a nephew, Brian Manning.
Arrangements were by Jurrens Funeral Home of Hills, www.jurrensfuneralhome.com.