VINTON – Jane LaGrange was born in Melbourne, Iowa to Glen and Mabel (Sturtz) Vauthrin on January 28, 1931, and died on January 11, 2018, at Virginia Gay Hospital in Vinton, Iowa.
She graduated from Melbourne High School in 1948 and from the University of Iowa in 1952.
On June 22, 1952, she married Robert “Bob” LaGrange in Melbourne. They lived briefly in Vinton before Bob was inducted into the Army. Jane joined him later in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where they lived for 2 years. Jane worked at the Discharge Center for the U.S. Army at Camp Chafee.
After returning to Vinton and starting their family, Jane taught piano lessons, worked as a newspaper correspondent for the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and later as the Benton County Coordinator and Caseworker for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
Jane devoted a major portion of her life to public service. She was a Girl Scout leader and President of the Conestoga Council of Girl Scouts. She was one of the first women elected to the Vinton City Council, where she served for 12 years. She chaired the East Central Iowa Council of Governments and was a member of the State Soil Conservation Committee and the State Land Preservation Commission. She served as state President of the American Association of University Women, co-founded the Benton County Women’s Political Caucus and served on the state steering committee of the Caucus. She was a board member and long-time volunteer at the Benton County Food Pantry.
Jane is survived by her children: Connie (Dave) Schuelka of Rochester, Minnesota; Mike (Diane) LaGrange of Vinton; and Ted (Mary) LaGrange of Lincoln, Nebraska; her 6 grandchildren: Sarah (Jake) Austin of Cedar Falls; Matthew (Emily Brandl-Salutz) Schuelka of Birmingham, England; Dan (Ali) LaGrange of Vinton; Jill (Omaid) Zabih of Omaha, Nebraska; Ben LaGrange of Wilmington Island, Georgia; and Amanda Schuelka of Tybee Island, GA; her 7 great-grandchildren: Zoey Austin, Charlee Austin, Weston LaGrange, Cobie Zabih, Arthur LaGrange, William Schuelka and Samir Zabih. Jane is also survived by her brother, Glen Vauthrin, of Costa Mesa, California.
Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, and her granddaughter, Laura Schuelka.
Visitation will be at the Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home on Monday, January 15, 2018, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. A private family service will be held at a later date.
Condolences may be left at vsrfh.com.