Cover photo for Leola Mae Larsen's Obituary
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1929 Leola 2024

Leola Mae Larsen

December 30, 1929 — January 14, 2024

Leola Mae Larsen, age 94, formerly of Anita, IA, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2024, at the Lighthouse at Lakeside Village in Omaha, NE.

Leola was born at home on December 30, 1929, at the family farm outside Hancock, Iowa, to Harry and Adah (Alff) Johnson.

The family moved to the farm north of Anita in the mid 30’s. Leola attended school in Anita and graduated in May of 1947. She was confirmed at Holy Cross Lutheran in Anita. After graduation, Leola taught school in a one-room schoolhouse north of Atlantic, Iowa.

In September of 1948, Leola married Lawrence Alloway at her parents' home in Atlantic, Iowa. They had a son, Steven Alloway. They lived in various places in Iowa and for two years in California. They divorced in the late 50’s.

In August of 1959, Leola married Norman Larsen at Holy Cross Lutheran in Anita. They had a daughter, Karla (Corey) Larsen Rusie.

Leola worked at many places over the years. Her first job was at the Cass County courthouse in Atlantic in the Auto department, which is where she met Norman when he kept coming into the department to license trucks for his trucking company. After they were married, she worked in the office of the trucking company doing the books. After Norman died in 1971, she worked as a waitress in Anita and Adair at Hullinger Drug in Anita and cleaned various homes on a regular basis. While doing all these other jobs, she was the church janitor at Holy Cross Lutheran for over 40 years.

In addition to being the janitor for all those years, she was an active member of the congregation. She served on various committees, including the call committees and the building committee for the new parsonage. Leola was a member of the LWML and held the offices of president, secretary, and mission chairman more than once over the years. She taught Sunday school and vacation bible school.

Leola enjoyed working in her yard and gardening. She spent many years remodeling her house. She jokingly said she built a new house in reverse! A new basement, then a new roof, closed in a porch to expand and remodel the kitchen, new drywall, new windows, and new flooring. She did most of the finished work herself. Leola also loved to cook, bake, and go antiquing. She, along with her mother, Adah, were members of a lady’s card club that was formed from the original neighbors of her parent’s farm north of Anita for years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Adah Johnson: brother, Wayne Johnson; ex-husband, Lawrence Alloway; husband, Norman Larsen.

Survived by son, Steven (Cindy) Alloway, Omaha, NE; daughter, Karla (Corey) Larsen Rusie, Omaha, NE; Grandchildren, Andy (Maija) Alloway, Omaha, NE; Amanda (Chase) Alloway, Miller, Cresent, Iowa. Great grandchildren Savanna, Jake, Molly, Brynlee, and Jack. Step-great grandchildren Eiress, Lennon, and Monroe. Sister Oralyn Hullinger, Salinas, California, and sister-in-law Nancy Johnson, Anita, Iowa. Many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Leola’s funeral will be on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 10:30 at Holy Cross Lutheran in Anita, Iowa. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service also held at the church. Burial will be in the Anita Evergreen Cemetery following the funeral. A luncheon will follow at the Anita American Legion Hall.

Memorials may be directed to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in memory of Leola. They may be mailed to the Schmidt Family Funeral Home P.O. Box 523, Atlantic, IA 50022.

The staff of Schmidt Family Funeral Homes is handling the arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Leola Mae Larsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Saturday, February 10, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Anita, IA

401 Maple Street, Anita, IA 50020

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Anita, IA

401 Maple Street, Anita, IA 50020

Livestream

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Committal

Saturday, February 10, 2024

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Evergreen Cemetery

, Anita, IA 50020

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Reception

Saturday, February 10, 2024

11:30am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

Anita American Legion Building Hall

740 Main St, Anita, IA 50020

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