COLUMBIA — Before and after every service at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, LaVonne Mattson stopped by the administration desk to greet Sheryl Mehrhoff.
Inside the church, she smiled as she welcomed family, friends and fellow members of the Ruth Circle, a church group for women whose husbands had died. She even brought an occasional joke for Pastor Paul Moessner to use in his sermon, if he wished.
LaVonne Mattson came to St. Andrew's with cheer, as she did with everything in her life.
"She was kind and friendly and went out of her way to be helpful to other people," Mehrhoff said.
LaVonne Rose Mattson of Columbia died on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. She was 84.
She was born on Dec. 26, 1928, in Milwaukee, Wis., to Ralph and Lydia (Schmahlenberger) Haugen. She married Donald Mattson on Oct. 14, 1950.
Mrs. Mattson worked in customer service for Southwestern Bell and the General Telephone and Electronics Corp. before retiring in 1989. She then volunteered at Grant Elementary School for 16 years and Hickman High School for nine years. At Grant Elementary School, Mrs. Mattson became known as "Mrs. Honey," reflecting her caring personality.
In 2008, "Mrs. Honey" was given the Columbia Public School Foundation's Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mrs. Mattson was an active member at St. Andrew's. In addition to the Ruth Circle, she was "an integral part of many different groups," Mehrhoff said.
Pastor Paul Moessner also praised Mrs. Mattson for her numerous contributions to the church.
"She faithfully served in a variety of ways," he said. "Her joy-filled spirit was truly uplifting to many, many people."
Family meant a lot to Mrs. Mattson; her eight grandchildren were the light of her life. In addition to spending time with family, Mrs. Mattson's hobbies included traveling and knitting.
Mrs. Mattson is survived by her son, Mike Mattson and his wife, Luann, of Springfield; her daughters, Sandy Roberts, of Columbia, and Donna Gundrum, and her husband, Jerry, of West Bend, Wis.; eight grandchildren, Curtis Mattson and his wife, Jacque, of Springfield, Brian Mattson, and his wife, Jessica, of Springfield, Lauren Mattson of Columbia, Emily West and her husband, Chad, of Columbia, Wade Roberts of Columbia, Grant Gundrum of Denver, Colo., Hanna Gundrum of Madison, Wis., and Maria Gundrum of West Bend, Wis.; and one great-granddaughter, Emory Mattson of Springfield.
Mrs. Mattson's husband and a son-in-law, Rocky Roberts, died earlier.
Visitation will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 914 West Blvd. S. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the church. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 914 West Blvd. S, Columbia, MO 65203.
Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.
Supervising editor is Richard Webner.