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Jane Elizabeth Peterson LaGrande, 98, a lifelong resident of Rockford, passed from this life on Saturday, January 21, 2017. She was born April 14, 1918, in Rockford, daughter of Peter Joseph Peterson, Rockford's first cement contractor and Hilma (Lidman) Peterson. Jane attended Henry Freeman School, John T. Buckbee School, Lincoln Jr. High and graduated from Rockford Central High School in 1935. She attended Thornton Township Junior College in Harvey, Illinois and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rockford College in 1939. Jane married Norman August LaGrande in October 3, 1942; he predeceased her December 31, 1997. Jane taught elementary school for over 30 years, teaching hundreds of children how to read and write. Her career began in the one room schoolhouse in Leona Center near Durand. She also taught at Cherry Valley School, Alpine School, Gregory School and retired from Wight School. She was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church; she was confirmed there in 1932. She was chairman of Archives Committee for many years, taught Sunday School and was also member of Lydia Circle and Women of the Evangelical church of America. She was a gifted painter and also enjoyed poetry and swimming. She was an avid supporter of her children's activities well into their adult years. In 2009, she received the first Chester Anderson Civic Hero Award. She and husband Norman were members of Rockford Swedish Historical Society. She was a breast cancer survivor.
She is survived by her son, Dr. Charles (Phyllis) Norman LaGrande of Lima, OH and daughter, Elizabeth L. (Daniel) O'Leary of Rockford, IL ; grandson, Peter (Heather) Charles LaGrande; great-grandchildren, August Peter and Norah Phoebe LaGrande all of Ohio; sister-in-law, Barbara Peterson Bauscher of Rockford; and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by her parents; son, John P. LaGrande; son-in-law, William Hipkiss; sisters, Margaret Messer and Catherine Taylor; and brothers, J. Ray Peterson and Donald J. Peterson.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Ave. Rockford. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior the funeral in Zion on Thursday, January 26, 2017. Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at Zion Lutheran Church, 925 5th Ave. Rockford with Rev. Dr. Michael Thomas officiating. Burial in Scandinavian Cemetery. Memorials to Zion Development Inc.

Condolences & Shared Memories (12)

  1. Marti Belin Wade

    Elizabeth and Charles, I am so sorry to learn of your mother's passing. I have so many lovely memories of herâ€" the family gatherings she hosted at your beautiful family home, worshiping at Zion, her enthusiasm and loyal attendance at the Liljegren family reunion, the enduring friendship she and my mom enjoyed. But one singular memory is her helping pack groom cake in little boxes to be served at the reception when Jamie and I got married. Please know my deepest sympathies.

  2. Rita Weber


  3. Geoff Swan

    Herr LaGrande, So sorry to hear about you and your families loss. I will say a prayer for you.

  4. Jack & Cheryl Miller

    Our condolences to Chuck and the LaGrande family, your mother was an inspiration to many throughout her life.

  5. sandy schroeder

    I had the opportunity to be with Jane on a few occasions as a caregiver this past year. Truly enjoyed our talks, and her telling me about her experiences as a young teacher just starting out. She shared some of her poetry with me, told me about her young son, and just so many things. I was enriched by having met her. Condolences to her dear friends and family.

  6. Richard and Evelyn S.

    Elizabeth, such a sad experience, the loss of a mother. May she paint canvasses of happiness, joy and love in heaven that you may one day behold. We have fond memories of Jane and of being in her gracious home.

  7. Polly (Nyman) Wright

    I have fond memories of Jane LaGrange as my third grade teacher at Alpine Elementary School in the 1950s. Teachers have always touched our lives. She helped inspire me to become a teacher.

  8. Polly Berger Vente

    Liz and Charles, So sorry for the loss of this wonderful lady. So many family memories of her and your dad and the long relationship they had with our family. May the memories and stories live on in you and your families .......keeping you close in thoughts and prayers.

  9. Carolyn Aufderhaar

    Sorry to hear of your mother's passing. What a difference she must have made in many children's lives!

  10. Todd Truesdale

    Doc, my family and I would like to pass along our deepest sympathy. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

  11. Stephanie Maier Makley

    So very sorry to hear of your mothers passing Herr LaGrande...My condolences to you and your family

  12. Judy Julian

    Elizabeth I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss.Jane was so very proud of you and Charles and talked about you a lot. I was lucky enough to spend time with your mom over the last couple years and I really enjoyed her company. She told me quite a few stories of her growing up and the history of her house, and she loved showing off the beautiful tea cups that she had painted when she was younger. I treasure the time that I spent with your mom and I will truly miss her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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