Vonna Leckband: a celebration of her life

My Julie’s mother died July 3, 2020. On June 5, 2021, nearly 200 family and friends gathered in the Ocheyedan, Iowa, town park to remember this woman of whom I wrote last year in this piece: Vonna Leckband: an extraordinary person. With that profile written, this piece will focus on Mom’s Celebration of Life.

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As the festivities begin at 11:00, Dad catches a bit of the pictorial history of his beloved wife of 58 years. I just happened to snap this when a photo was onscreen from Julie’s and my wedding.

As the event was winding down, I asked Dad if there were some nice surprises, folks he didn’t expect to see. “Yes,” he said, “but I don’t remember who!”

Larry and Vonna’s daughters—Laurie, Sheri, Julie, and Amber—labored with love in hosting a marvelous party. Here’s Laurie (white pants), who was the creative mind behind many of the celebration’s features, with Mom’s friend, Becky.

In the next pic, I caught second daughter Sheri in a way that perfectly captures her gettin’ things done personality!

Julie next came into the world, then whirled into mine.

Though Amber came last, if you know her, you know she’s always in the middle of everything!

Besides great food, a video photo album, and more, we enjoyed a host of songs and jokes, poetry and storytelling. In this video, Dad tells us how he met Mom.

For eight more videos, search Vonna Leckband Celebration on https://www.youtube.com/

Laurie had wristbands made, with a twist on the familiar WWJD. These bands remind us What Would Vonna Do? Not one to stay put, or do the same old same old, one often heard her say,Change it up, kiddo.”

From the 100+ photos I took, here are a few more to demonstrate the grand day we enjoyed. Though we miss Mom terribly, we are grateful for all she was for us, all she modeled to us, and all she taught us. The large turnout of family and friends—from nearby towns in Iowa and Minnesota, to states as far away as Texas and Florida—demonstrated why I titled my tribute to her Vonna Leckband: an extraordinary person.

Finally, Vonna and Larry, together.

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