Lou Ella Ravenhorst, 85, Walker

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lou Ella Agnes &8220;Lou&8221; Ravenhorst, age 85, of Walker and formerly of Hackensack and Clarks Grove, died Monday, Sept. 18, 2006, at Woodrest Health Care Center in Walker.

She was born Sept. 17, 1921, in Albert Lea, Minn., to Adolph and Ella (Wilson) Nelson. She grew up in the Clarks Grove area and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1940, after taking one year off during the Great Depression to help her family on the farm. After high school, she attended Macalester College for two years, then worked for a year in the testing labs at Hormel Foods in Austin.

While in college, she met Arent John Ravenhorst of Hollandale through mutual friends. The couple was married March 6, 1943. For three years, they farmed in the Hollandale area.

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In 1945, they went into business in Clarks Grove and ran Ravenhorst Concrete Products and other very successful businesses there for more than 40 years. In 1971, they moved to the Hackensack area and lived at Baby Lake next to Sunset Bay Camp, a resort run by their daughter Gail and her family for 27 years. In 1997, the couple moved to Walker and, in September 2005, they moved to May Creek Lodge. After suffering a stroke in mid-August, she moved to Woodrest Health Care Center. While living in the Clarks Grove-Hollandale area, she was an active member of the Hollandale Reformed Church. In Hackensack, she was a member of St. Paul&8217;s Lutheran Church. More recently, she attended Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Walker.

She enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren and their families. She loved to read, to watch birds and other wildlife, and loved to travel. She was a dead-eye shot with a .22 rifle (to the peril of many a starling, sapsucker, muskrat and the occasional pheasant), was an avid Twins fan, and she had a dry sense of humor to the end.

She was a strong and generous Christian, and she loved unconditionally.

She is survived by her husband John of 63 years; two sons, Larry (Laurie) of Racine and Greg (Carol) of Walker; one daughter, Gail DeBoer of Hackensack; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; in-laws Gerrit and Evelyn Ravenhorst, and Alice DeBoer, all of Hollandale; Gert and Doug Peak of Albert Lea; Effie Nelson of Cambridge; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, John and Lyman Nelson; one sister-in-law, Virginia Nelson Peckacheck; and one brother-in-law, Harko DeBoer.

Visitation will be held Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Thomas-Dennis Funeral Home in Walker and one hour before the church service.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Walker, with the Rev. Mark Widman of Calvary Church and the Rev. Thea Monson of St. Paul&8217;s Lutheran Church officiating. Her three grandsons and four granddaughters will be her pallbearers. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Walker.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to either church or to the charity of the donor&8217;s choice.