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LaVerne Marie Bruess, 92

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LaVerne Marie Bruess, age 92 of Cresco and formerly of Protivin, died Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at Regional Health Services of Howard County with her family by her side.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 20, 2024, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Protivin with Fr. Nick Radloff presiding.

Interment followed at Holy Trinity Cemetery.

Friends may greet the family from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Protivin with Recitation of the Rosary at 1:45 p.m. Visitation continued for one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.   

LaVerne Marie Sabelka was born on May 3, 1932, daughter of Michael and Helen (Polansky) Sabelka in Spillville.  She attended school through the 10th grade at St. Wenceslaus Catholic School in Spillville, and completed high school at Mt. Mercy Academy, Cedar Rapids, graduating in 1950.

On Aug. 6, 1951, LaVerne married Cornell Bruess at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Spillville. Together the couple farmed in the Protivin and Lourdes area for 40 years.  In 1987 they moved to Cresco.

For 18 years, LaVerne worked as the dough master at Pizza Hut. She ended her career at the age of 81 when Pizza Hut closed its doors.

LaVerne was a huge fan of baseball. Throughout her life she visited all 30 baseball stadiums in the USA and Canada.  She especially liked watching games at the Protivin ball park during the summer.

LaVerne was part of the Czech Days softball committee for several years.  She was a member of the Domestic Executives and Happy Hookers (a knit/crochet club started years ago near Lourdes).  She enjoyed crocheting name doilies, and sent them to people all over the world.  She also liked to play cards, listen to polka music, make greeting cards, and participating in local gambling sports pools.  LaVerne would occasionally visit the casino and try her luck.

LaVerne and Cornell helped to start the Knights of Columbus turtle stew supper.  She was known for her tall meringue pies, rosettes, and poppy seed cake.

LaVerne is survived by her four children, Karen (Mary Chval) Bruess of Cedar Rapids, Linda (Rich) Lechtenberg of New Hampton, Jean Ann (Dean Rue) Bruess of Madison, Wisconsin, and Charles (Angie) Bruess of Trivoli, Illinois; daughter-in-law, Jill Bruess of Cedar Falls; seven grandchildren, Matthew Lechtenberg, Samuel Lechtenberg, Megan (Jeff) Nesvik, Chas (Sami) Bruess, Chris Bruess, John Bruess and Jalynn (Tanner) Roberts; great-grandchildren, Alice Bruess, Calvin Nesvik, Colton Bruess and Nora Nesvik; two brothers, Linus (Doris) Sabelka and Leon (Elaine) Sabelka; and three sisters-in-law, Sandy Sabelka, Marilyn Sabelka and Mary Lou Bruess.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Michael and Helen Sabelka; husband, Cornell Bruess on Sept. 25, 1990; six children, Patricia, Kenneth, Mary Jo, Gerald, Steven and Michael; and two brothers, LeRoy Sabelka and Larry Sabelka.

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