LaVae Joyce Straub, 76, of Beatrice passed away at the Beatrice Community Hospital on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. LaVae was born on November 27, 1942 in Beatrice, Nebraska to Harvey and Erna (Goes) Pohlman and was the youngest daughter of three. She grew up on their family farm in rural DeWitt and was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. At Clatonia High School, LaVae participated in activities such as the Volleyball team, Pep Club, Band, Chorus, Girls State, and Class Play. She also held positions as Class Officer, Yearbook Chief Editor, and Homecoming Queen. After graduating as the salutatorian in 1960, LaVae attended Dana College and completed an Associate Degree. Her first job took her to Lincoln where she worked at the University of Nebraska as a Secretary in the Animal Science Department. It was in Lincoln, through the set-up of a blind date by a close friend, that LaVae met the love of her life, Air Force Airman First Class Royce E. Straub, originally from New Columbia, Pennsylvania. The two were a match made in heaven and couldn't wait to begin a new life together. On December 1, 1963, LaVae and Roy exchanged vows in the same church where she was baptized and confirmed, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, and they remained happily married for more than 55 years.
Shortly after their wedding day, the newlyweds packed up all their belongings and drove to California to start their new adventure. LaVae would share the story that they didn't know where they would end up or how they would find work, but they were confident in their abilities and trusted that the Lord would guide their way. The couple initially settled in Pasadena and immediately became involved with the local church. Both LaVae and Roy had a very strong faith, which kept them rooted and was always the center of their relationship and life together. Living in California for 13 years, LaVae had three children, was active in the churches they attended, worked as a Secretary, and was also an officer of her children's school PTA. It was in California where LaVae honed her renowned sewing skills. Her creativity and craft originally began as a necessity to make clothes for her family but would eventually lead to her passion of making quilts.
After having conquered California, LaVae and Roy made the decision to improve the quality of life for their family and relocate back to her family's farm in DeWitt, Nebraska. LaVae loved being back with family and friends and became a center of influence at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where she served as the Church Secretary for 21 years and proudly “trained” four new Pastors in regard to the Soap Creek way. Over the course of 35 years she also hand-stitched a countless number of baptismal clothes, made baptismal banners, was a member of the Church Choir, served on the Church Council and Funeral Committee, and helped organize Vacation Bible Schools. LaVae was also an active member of the Morning Glories Circle, helped create braille bibles, and pieced together numerous quilts as part of Lutheran World Relief.
Although LaVae was a night owl she was never idle during the day. While her passions included both gardening and quilting, it's the latter for which she will be remembered forever. Her creativity, perfectionism, and love of a challenge were a perfect combination that led her to make dozens upon dozens of quilts and blankets in her lifetime, masterpieces for her family to cherish forever. LaVae also loved her social time with friends and neighbors, enjoying things like the Young-at-Heart Extension Club for 42 years, bowling leagues, square-dance club, card club, volunteering at the local polling center, and senior diners. In 2012, LaVae and Roy moved to Beatrice to focus more on their other passions, which included traveling and spending time with their children and grandchildren. They happily traveled across the country to watch their grandchildren's sporting events, recitals, school plays, confirmations, graduations, and weddings. Always in a servant mind-frame to help others, LaVae and Roy also clipped coupons for the needy. LaVae became known at the Lincoln City Mission as the “Coupon Lady,” because together they clipped in excess of $100,000 of coupons to help others in financial need.
We will always remember our fun-loving Mom and grandmother, and are comforted in knowing that LaVae is now reunited with Roy – a perfect match made in heaven! Survivors include: two sons, Kevin Straub and wife Roxanne of Omaha and Tracey Straub and wife Patricia of Cortlandt Manor, NY; one daughter, Denise Riesen and husband Byron of Beatrice; 11 grandchildren, Taylor Straub and wife Mollie, Andrea Ford and husband Trevor, Olivia Straub, Trevor Straub, Tara Straub, Hunter Straub, Kara Marvin and husband Micah, Brianna Paswaters and husband Luke, Grant Riesen, Mackenzie Riesen, and John Riesen; four great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Beau Marvin, and Grayson and Elliana Straub; sister, Julane Sampson; nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Royce Straub (April 6, 2019); parents, Harvey and Erna Pohlman; and sister, Marlyce Robinson.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, July 22, 2019 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church (Soap Creek) of rural DeWitt with Pastor Sean Koos officiating. A family prayer service will be held at 10:10 A.M. Monday in the fellowship room of the church. Burial will be at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery. The body will lie in state at Fox Funeral Home on Sunday from 12:00 noon to 8:00 P.M. with a family meet-and-greet from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Monday. A memorial has been established to St. Paul's Memorial Fund or families' choice with Richard Rohe and Myron Helmke in charge: www.foxfuneralhome.net Arrangements are entrusted to Fox Funeral Home of Beatrice.