gramma's obituary


Leora Johanna Rawn (Jensen) was born on July 29, 1916, in Flaxton, North Dakota, and spent her final days at the Prescott Nursing and Rehabilitation Center surrounded by the people she loved. She was 98 and a half years old.

The second of Nels and Gertrude Jensen's six daughters, Leora was quick to cultivate a strong work ethic, a sharp wit, and the ability to sniff out malarky upwind a North Dakota mile. She used those skills to graduate early from Northgate High School in 1934.  Nearly a decade later, she married Henry Rawn. On their Flaxton farm, they raised wheat, chickens, cows and two kids, Gary and Patricia, before opening the Northgate Cafe' on the U.S. Canadian Border. The cafe’ was famous for Leora’s pies, cookies, and her penchant for looking the other way while the grandkids and cousins raided the candy shelves.

In 1977, after the death of Gary's wife, Hank and Leora relocated to Bakersfield, CA, to help their son raise their two young grandchildren.

Hank died in 1978, and soon after, the family found themselves settled in Prescott, Wisconsin, where Leora kept even busier than her grandkids. She attended school functions, participated in activities at Joy Lutheran Church, hosted slumber parties and bingo nights for her grandkids, wrote columns for The Prescott Journal, played cards, visited, spent time with her family and friends, and could often be found in the kitchen with a fresh pot of coffee, a willing ear and an open heart.

Although she always said she didn't want a "big fuss" made over her passing, she also left her grandkids in charge, saying, "do what you want."  Since we think she is completely deserving of a big (yet dignified) fuss, we invite you to join us as we celebrate almost a century of Gramma Leora's wisdom, wit and love on Saturday, January, 31, 1:00 pm, at Joy Lutheran Church in Prescott, WI.

Please don't wear black, she'll be furious.

She was preceded in death by what she liked to call, "almost everyone else" -  in particular,  her parents, her husband Henry, her son Gary, four sisters, several friends and family members.

Her daughter Trish; grandkids Jana, Devin, Jamie and Jim; sister Vera; nine great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews (including her favorite), will pass down her legacy of love, quick wit, card sharking skills and the secret recipe for toasted cheese sandwiches.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you spend an hour listening to the stories of someone older and wiser than yourself, rally your friends for a spirited game of cards, and take time to visit with the people you love.

Donations may be made to the Prescott Care Center Auxiliary.


Treats said…
Beautiful, Jana. I am so sad I will not be able to make it as my kids are coming home to celebrate my 'monumental' birthday. I will be with you in spirit. I love the stories you tell of your grandma. She sounds like the kind of mom and grandma I strive to be. I hope you'll keep telling me stories about her and your dad. Please let me know anytime after next weekend when we can get together to laugh/cry/catch up. Sending love to all of you....
j said…
No worries - birthdays are much more fun. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I was supposed to be on hand at that monumental birthday to push you out of a plane. You go ahead without me - but make sure there are pictures.
Mary Peterson said…
My sympathies. She was one of the great ones! I was lucky enough to grow up around Northgate. & it was always a treat to go to "Leora's" for a burger. I can still hear her voice & laughter, always full of life. I am sure you have an unending supply of fun stories to tell.
Treats said…
Sadly, Jana, my family has vetoed the sky diving experience so you aren't missing out on anything. I am totally bummed and was looking forward to that push. Breaking my back squashed any hopes of doing anything that involves my feet being off of the ground. I've asked about paragliding - that was vetoed as well. They have no sense of humor.