Lauretta was born December 30, 1919 on the family farm near Bowbells, North Dakota to Jens Peter Neve and Anna Olson Neve. Lauretta passed away on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at the age of 98 years at Valley Vue Care Center in Armstrong.
She graduated from Bowbells High School. Lauretta came to Ringsted, IA in 1937 and worked in Ringsted, Swea City, and Fairmont, MN areas. She married Ralph H. Walker, Jr. (John) June 4, 1948 in Milford, IA and lived on the Walker family farm near Swea City that was recognized as a Century Farm in 2003. She was employed by the Swea City Herald.
Lauretta was active in community affairs and many organizations throughout North Central Iowa and recognized for her services as Ambassador for the Governor’s office by Governors Branstad and Vilsack and earned the President George W. Bush’s Volunteer Service Award. She was the first Iowan to receive the Fifth Century Award for advanced reading through Epsilon Sigma Omicron (ESO) in 2007 during her 38-year membership with General Federated Woman of Iowa. She was active in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and enjoyed visiting with residents of neighboring care centers and sharing home-made Scandinavian treats.
Lauretta was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Swea City and served on various committees including chairing the annual Scandinavian Fare in its early years. She received her 50-year pin from Girl Scouts of the USA in 2012. She was a lifetime member of the Kossuth County Historical Society and the Patent Pending Players and received recognition for her activities in Kossuth County 4-H Leadership; the former North Iowa Girl Scout Council, American Cancer Society; and the North Kossuth Schools. She was the 2004 Grand Marshall for Swea City Fun Days.
Lauretta enjoyed working outside keeping the farmstead in tip top shape. Many Swea City residents often commented on the work she did tending the flowers at Reynolds Park in town.
Family history was also very important to her and she compiled a number of “notebooks” of family history that have been passed on to family members or given to the Danish Heritage Museum in Blair, NE.
Lauretta is survived by daughters Janet Hein (Don), Iowa City, IA; and Dori Kostka (Jim) Northwood, IA; granddaughters Sheri Taylor, (Wade), Ceylon, MN, and Angela Larimer, Iowa City, IA; great-granddaughters Amanda Wohlford (Jerit), Zumbrota, MN; and Bethany Taylor, Bryon, MN; great-great-granddaughter Dakota Wohlford; and great-great-grandsons Aiden Wohlford, Ryker Wohlford, and Corbyn Iverson.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph (John) Walker; daughter, Reta Farland; son-in-law Lowell Farland; her parents and twelve brothers and sisters.