Joel Laaveg


Joel Laaveg, 58, Clear Lake, passed away in the early morning hours on Friday, March 22, 2013 at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.  A Celebration of Life service was held at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City on Sunday, March 24,with Rev. Rod Hopp officiating.  Joel was laid to rest on Monday, March 25, at the Clear Lake Cemetery. 

 Memorials may be made to the Joel Laaveg Memorial to be shared with various ministries, or those of your choice.  

Joel Philip Laaveg was born Oct. 13, 1954 to Pastor Oscar and Viola (Larson) Laaveg in Joliet, Ill.  From there his family moved to Camrose, Alberta, Canada, and Belmond and Emmetsburg, Iowa.

Joel went to Waldorf College where he met Gina Sundry, and they were married in 1975.  Their two sons, Philip Michael and Daniel James, were the pride and joy of his life.  

Joel continued his education at Buena Vista College, and spent a career in healthcare at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, retiring as Director of Supply Chain Management in Nov. 2009, due to his heart and kidney issues.  A loyal employee, Joel enjoyed his work, his colleagues, and all the interesting people he met in his 28 years of employment.

Joel loved to sing.  He sang in the high school choir in Emmetsburg, Waldorf College Choir in Forest City, and the North Iowa Chorale in Mason City.  He had the lead role as Curly in “OKLAHOMA!” in high school and also with the Mason City Community Theater.  He sang “Rise Again” at the end of darkened Good Friday Tenebrae Services for many years.  

Joel traveled and sang with many musical friends through the years.  He was part of Brethren, a gospel quartet which began at Waldorf College in 1974 and reunited in 1991 and began singing throughout the Midwest and Southwest for 20 years.  They made several recordings and countless friendships along the way.

Through all the years of his life, deep friendships were also made through church choirs and group Bible studies.  His personal relationship with Jesus Christ was deep and loving.  

Raising his boys with games of catch, watching and tossing the football, shooting baskets, and golf made him so happy.  Waterskiing, canoeing, and enjoying his family and wildlife at the Laaveg family cabin on Big Wolf Lake, Minn., fishing, lake trips with friends, traveling, tables full of family and friends for dinner, and long evenings of meaningful conversation and laughter were experiences he treasured.  His brothers were especially loved by Joel, and their support during his illness was unbeatable.  He also had a “band of brothers” and friends that lifted his spirits daily.  Following an empty nest, Gina and Joel enjoyed several years living in the woods near Pilot Knob State Park, returning to Clear Lake as Joel’s health deteriorated. 

Joel is survived by his wife, Gina, Clear lake; son, Philip, and his wife, Nadia, Los Angeles, Calif.; son, Dan, Cedar Falls, Iowa; brothers, Dr. Sterling (Rita), Scottsdale, Ariz.; Paul (Nancy), Berryville, Va.; Rev. Lee (Denise), Milford, Iowa; the Sundry family he married into; and a host of nieces and nephews and their families.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and great nephew, Miles Hanson.

Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

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