Lavona bell schwatken troutman died Thursday night September 28, 2006, at a Springfield, Mo., hospital after a brief illness. She was 90 years old.
Mrs. Troutman was born January 9, 1916, on a farm near Elk City, Kansas. She was the third of eight children. Her parents were Elmer Schwatken and Lillie Berry Schwatken.
A graduate of Independence (Kansas) Junior College, Mrs. Troutman instructed students in a one-room school house for two years.
After meeting Don Troutman at a dance in Independence, Kan., Lavona and Don Troutman married on November 8, 1936. In her later years, Mrs. Troutman remembered that upon meeting her soon-to-be husband she was impressed by his impeccably kept car and his jokes and storytelling. She said he also wore a suit and tie on their dates and angled his fedora to the right -- like a movie star. They were married for almost 65 years, until Mr. Troutman's death in 2001.
Mrs. Troutman began a career at Boeing Aircraft in 1948. She worked first as a secretary and eventually in the blueprint library. The B-52 and Boeing 737 were developed while Mrs. Troutman worked at Boeing. Along with her husband, who also worked at Boeing, she retired in 1969. After retirement, the couple moved to a farm in rural Exeter, Mo., where they raised cattle, maintained a large vegetable garden and entertained their grandchildren, especially in the summer. In 1981, they moved to Cassville, Mo.
Mrs. Troutman was a skilled homemaker who often commented during her daily runs of the vacuum and while dusting that she fought an endless battle against the dust kicked up by vehicles moving down the quiet, and unpaved, lane upon which she and her husband had retired. She was also an expert seamstress, piecing together much of her own clothing from patterns and cloth she bought at the five and dime. Mrs. Troutman was also known for her canning, for the making of jellies and jams, the baking of breads, rolls and biscuits, her gravies and for her old-fashioned style cooking from scratch.
After retirement to Cassville, Lavona assisted her husband with bingo games at Red Rose Inn, a skilled nursing care facility. While he called the games, she handed out the prizes. Working together, the couple also delivered meals on wheels to the elderly and disabled of Barry County (Mo.) for seven years. She was a member of the Golden Harvest, Triple L and Unity Clubs. She was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Cassville, where she attended services faithfully.
Mrs. Troutman is survived by two daughters, Eleanor Gruen, of San Juan Capsitrano, Calif., and Sylvia Sturgeon, of Cassville; three sisters, Viola Schreiner, of Oxford, Kan., Ava Crowell, of Independence, Kan., and Laura Powell, of St. John, Kan.; nine grandchildren, Scott Stubblefield, Nancy Girard, Susan Stroh, Joy Hartley, Kelso Sturgeon III, Richard Gruen, Stephen Stubblefield, Don Sturgeon and David Sturgeon; and 12 great grandchildren.
In addition to being preceded in death by her husband, Mrs. Troutman was preceded in death by a daughter, Evelyn Stubblefield. She died in 1978. She was also preceded in death by brothers, Herman Schwatken and Paul Schwatken and two sisters, Vadis Kimery and Ruby Moore.
Funeral services were held at Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville, Mo., at 10 a.m. Monday, October 2, 2006. Burial was at New Hope Cemetery in Independence, Kan. Paid Obit
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