Catherine 'LaVon' Schurman

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Catherine “LaVon” Schurman, 88, of Bagley, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday April 1, 2020, at her residence. 

She was born on April 6, 1931 in Cassville the daughter of Adam and A. Marie (Ackerman) Kirschbaum. 

LaVon was united in marriage to Jacob J. Schurman Jr. on Aug. 5, 1955, in Caledonia, Minn. Following her graduation from Cassville High School, she attended UW-Platteville for one year. She knew, in her heart, a career in business was more to her liking. Jake and LaVon moved to Bagley in 1960, when they purchased what would become Schurman’s Bar and Supper Club. They quickly became involved in community activities. She was a driving force behind the annual July 4th celebration and personally supervised the making of thousands of pounds of potato salad for the chicken barbecue. She and Jake were actively involved in the Wisconsin Tavern League and received numerous awards for their National Tavern Month promotions. 

LaVon’s passion was her service for veterans, and her membership in the American Legion Auxiliary afforded her many opportunities. She helped organize Thorp-Taylor Unit 551 in Beetown and served as their first president. She transferred her membership to Bagley and continued to be active until the time of her passing. Over the years, she served in many capacities on the local, county, district, state, and national level, most recently as president of the Liscum Bros. Unit 482 in Bagley. She was elected state president of the Wisconsin American Legion Auxiliary in 1986. She was also a lifetime member of the VFW Auxiliary, a partner in the La Societe de Femmes Cabana 1372, and a member of the Royal Neighbors of America. She was an active member of St. Mary Parish in Bloomington and Catholic Daughters of the Americas. 

Following the sale of their business in 1991, she enjoyed that first summer as a docent at Stonefield Village. LaVon worked at Wal-Mart in Prairie du Chien as a cashier and trainer, retiring after 20 years. 

Her devotion to her family was boundless. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to her extensive family and countless young women she served with and mentored as a counselor at ALA Badger Girls State for 42 years. She enjoyed crocheting, and every grandchild and great-grandchild was welcomed into the world with a blanket made by Oma. 

LaVon’s kindness, compassion and genuine caring for every person she met touched the lives of each person with whom she made contact. From the fellas that played cards every afternoon in the bar to the young women she mentored at ALA Badger Girls State, and to the customers that would wait an extra 10 minutes in her checkout line just for the two or three minutes of her time and that beautiful smile that radiated love for her fellow man. She remembered every person and made acquaintances feel like good friends. And for some very special ones, like they were part of her family. 

LaVon is survived by her five children, James Harpin of Midwest City, Okla., Jeff (DeAnn) Schurman of Lake Shore, Minn., Joanie (Delane Moomey) Dickerson of Bagley, Janet (Craig) Iverson of Waukon, Iowa, Julia Warrington of Bagley; 16 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; four step-children, Karen (Dennis) Bradley of Ferryville, Brenda (Ron) Williams of Homosassa, Fla., Jerry Swab of Lancaster, Charles (Vonnie) Swab of Fennimore; brother, Alois (Vivian Achenbach) Kirschbaum of Prairie du Chien; sister-in-law, Lorraine Schurman of Lancaster; along with numerous beloved nieces and nephews. 

LaVon was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jacob on Aug. 22, 2002; two sons, John and Jerome Harpin; great-grandson, Kashton Warrington; step-son, Jacob Schurman III; and two sisters, Teri Williams and Darlene Kirschbaum. 

In keeping with the executive order prohibiting gatherings, a private graveside service was held on Monday, April 6, at the Bagley Cemetery in Bagley. After restrictions are lifted from the COVID-19 pandemic, the family will plan a public celebration of LaVon’s life to be held at the St. Mary Catholic Church in Bloomington with a lunch and time of fellowship to follow. In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials may be given to the St. Mary Catholic Church or the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation in loving memory of LaVon Schurman. 

The Larson Family Funeral Home in Fennimore is assisting the family, and online condolences may be made at www.larsonfuneralhomes.com.

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