LaVon M. Jensen, 89, of Wausau passed away quietly on Sunday, August 29, 2021.
She was born at home on November 30, 1931 in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin to James and Marie (Hedin) Jennings. LaVon graduated from River Falls High School and attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls where she received the highest of academic awards, the ‘Gold R’ and was Valedictorian graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
On Thursday March 12th, 1953 she married Donald D. Jensen, and together raised their two children Susan and David.
LaVon began her teaching career in the little red school house in River Falls, then taught first grade in Minneapolis, MN. During her time in Minneapolis, she changed the Lutheran Church getting bibles into childrens hands in the first grade where previously they were distributed at confirmation. She also changed the Lutheran Church giving women a seat at the table with voting power where before their only voice was the use of bake sale chairitable contributions. She moved to Houston, TX where she raised her family and in 1971 was awarded the National Juliette Low Statue for her work in racially integrating camping experiences with Troop 1442 and the San Jacinto Girl Scouts Council in Houston, TX. Later they returned to Schofield, WI where she continued her teaching career at both Weston and Evergreen Elementary. LaVon believed and instilled the concept that every child learns at a different pace, and so she also helped to design the school to promote individual learning and brought the gifted and talented program to the school. For her efforts, D.C. Everest School District honored her with the Teacher of the Year Award in 1977. In 2004, once again LaVon reformed girl scouting by helping to save Birch Trails Girl Scout Camp in Northcentral, WI and was given the Distinguished Service Award by Birch Trails Girl Scout Council.
In 1976, Donald passed away and in 1978 LaVon began her career in real estate. She formed her own company LaVon M. Jensen, Inc. being the first woman in commercial real estate in the Wausau area. LaVon was the first woman to chair the Chamber’s Small Business Council, initiated the popular ‘Business to Business Expo’ and influenced the creation of the Council of Women Business Owners. She was the first single woman member of the Wausau Country Club, the first individual woman of the Wausau Club. LaVon’s talents developed Washington Square, she owned White Water Car Wash and “wrote her name across the city” redeveloping the downtown properties on the river where today the Marathon County Library and The Dudley Center currently sit. In 1992, she formed Re/Max of Wausau and proudly owned the Henry Miller building at 1314 Grand Ave. LaVon won Re/Max Broker/Owner of the Year for the State of Wisconsin in 1997 for outstanding growth, recruiting and management. In 1996, Mayor John D. Hess and the Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce presented LaVon with the Athena Buisness Women of the Year award for her significant contribututions to Wausau. In 2007, Re/Max North Central Region honored her with Single Office Broker/Owner of the year. She continued her legacy in commercial real estate and assisting residential clients actively until her passing.
LaVon was highly active walking everyday, in her younger years an avid cross-country skier and throughout her life a competitive golfer. In her late 80s, she took up yoga to improve her golf game. She loved traveling and with Re/Max played at world renowned courses such as Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland and Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. She was a talented painter, dedicated and loving mother and grandmother, and truly loved by all who knew her. She will be missed by many for her fairness, class and optimism.
She is survived by her children, Susan Jensen Kuehn and Robert F. Kuehn of Scottsdale, AZ; Dave (Nancy) Jensen of Wausau, WI; grandchildren, Ashley Buelt, Tyler (Danielle) Jensen, Matthew Jensen, Katie Jo Jensen and Cody Jensen; great-grandson, Wade Jensen; siblings, Darlene Sumption and Marlyn (Marlene) Jennings; and numerous other relatives and dear friends.
LaVon was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald; great-grandson, Jack Jensen; siblings, Dorothy (Don) Webster, Calvin (Dorcas) Jennings, Karen Lang and Nancy (Bill) Clausen.
Visitation will be 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Tuesday, September 7 at the Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel of Weston, 5712 Memorial Ct. Funeral will be 11:00 am Wednesday, September 8 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 6205 Alderson St, with visitation one hour prior. Burial will be around 3:45pm in the Mann Valley Cemetery of River Falls. Brainard Funeral Home – Everest Chapel is assisting the family.
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