Funeral service for LaVaun “Vonnie” Rowene Neeb Heikkinen, 80, of Eveleth, will be 1:30pm Friday, May 27, 2016 at United in Christ Lutheran Church in Eveleth with Pastor Steve Weston officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00-7:00pm at Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the Gilbert Cemetery. She died Monday, May 23, 2016 at Essentia Health – Virginia. LaVaun was born March 27, 1936 in Loyal, WI to Oscar and Gladys (Cone) Neeb. She was raised on a farm in rural Loyal and later was a 1954 graduate of Loyal High School. In 1958 she graduated from Stout Institute in Menomonie, WI with a degree in Home Economics. While she was there, she was the first woman to receive a sports letter at Stout and also at that time met her husband, Jack Heikkinen there. Following her graduation, she worked for the Extension Service in Dodge Center, MN. On March 23, 1963 she married Jack D. Heikkinen in Loyal, WI. They lived in Rochester and Sparta, MN, and Union Lake MI, prior to returning to Sparta in 1965. Jack died on August 13, 2006. She was a devoted stay-at-home mother and housewife, a loving grandma and active civic and community member. She served as leader for the Sparta Sparkettes 4-H Club and was active with the North St. Louis County 4-H and fair. LaVaun was an active member of United in Christ Lutheran and the former United Lutheran Church of Gilbert where she taught Sunday School and served on church council, prayer chain and women’s groups. She also was a member of the Gilbert Blue Line Club, PTA, served as election Judge at the Sparta Community Center. She especially enjoyed storytelling, sports, traveling, gardening, listening to country music, talking on the phone and watching tv. She especially enjoyed the American Welding Society gatherings. Her past five years have been spent living with her daughter, Holly. Survivors include her son, Scott (Penny) Heikkinen of Sparta; daughters, Lynette (Jon) Thayer of Champlin and Holly Heikkinen of Eveleth; grandchildren: Stacy Heikkinen of Virginia and Patrick Heikkinen of Sparta, Sean (Trina) Thayer of Tampa, FL, Amanda Thayer of Champlin, and Nick Paul of Eveleth; her great grandchildren, Scarlette and Sophia; sister, Joyce (Walter) Wetzel of Neillsville, WI; brother, Neil (Gloria) Neeb of Rice, MN; sisters and brothers-in-law: Peggy (Jim) Schultz of Champlin, Patty (John) Starr of Britt and LeRoy (MaryAnn) Wiirre of Buhl; numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Jack, sisters and brothers in law: Marjorie Wiirre, Jim and Jeanne Ritacco; niece, Betty Jean Wetzel and her mother and father-in-law, Ted and Vienna Heikkinen.