LaVaughn Kathlinn Kunny (nee Larson) died peacefully in her Beloit home on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. She was born July 27, 1918 in Finley, North Dakota, to Clare Linn Larson and Ludwig Peder (Doc) Larson.
After graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, LaVaughn met Bartholomew Kenneth “Keck” Kunny when she arrived in Karlsted, Minnesota, for her first teaching job – he was the handsome basketball coach. LaVaughn and Keck were married in 1943 during his leave from service during World War II, in Madison, Wisconsin.
LaVaughn and Keck settled in Beloit in 1948 as Keck began his career as a biology professor at Beloit College. Over the years the Kunny family grew to five: Kathy was born in 1950, Adella Clare in 1954, and Bartholomew Peter in 1957.
In addition to creating a home filled with love, LaVaughn re-entered the teaching arena and began a long career at Aldrich Middle School. She was recognized as Teacher of the Year several times and touched the lives of countless students. She simply loved this job which provided years of fulfilling interaction with her students.
LaVaughn was passionate about the city of Beloit and Beloit College. Her passions led her to immerse herself in in various arenas over the years: The East End Club, Beloit Art League, Beloit-Janesville Symphony (fundraising), Beloit Historical Society (docent at the Hanchett-Bartlett House, assistant director, program developer of quilting classes for the community), Beloit Public Library (board member when the new library was built), Society for Learning Unlimited (SLU program coordinator and occasional presenter), Friends of RiverFront. LaVaughn was a member of Atonement Lutheran Church.
LaVaughn and Keck were avid supporters of the Beloit College athletic programs, attending all home basketball and football games. After Keck passed away in 1994, the LaVaughn and Bartholomew “Keck” Kunny Endowed Biology Scholarship was established. LaVaughn continued to be a vital presence on campus until she passed away.
LaVaughn inherited a wanderlust from her mother. She nurtured her fascination with ancient American cultures, in particular the Maya, with numerous trips to Mexico and Central America. To explore the roots of the Larson and Kunny families she and Keck planned trips to Norway, Ireland and Luxembourg.
LaVaughn and Keck’s home became a tribute to her love of Beloit, the arts, the world and her family.
A house is made with walls and beams;
a home is built with love and dreams.
Your home should tell the story of who you are – a collection of what and who you loved.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
LaVaughn will be remembered by the many generations whose lives she touched through the years and missed by her children and their spouses: Kathy Schnier, Clare Kunny (Colin Westerbeck), Bart Kunny (Joy); her grandchildren: Christine and Kara Schnier, Stephen, Anders and Adam Kunny, Kate (Jacob) Lewis; and her great-grandchildren: Olivia and Sam Lewis. She is survived by her dear sister-in-law Joan (Kunny) Hagen, and her dear brother-in-law James Robinson.
LaVaughn was preceded in death by, in addition to her husband Keck, her parents Clare Linn and Ludwig Peder Larson, her sister Phyllis Gwendolinn Robinson, and her son-in-law John Schnier.
Donations in LaVaughn’s name may be made to the LaVaughn and Bartholomew “Keck” Kunny Endowed Biology Scholarship of Beloit College. A memorial service to celebrate LaVaughn’s life will be planned for late Spring of this year.
In lieu of flowers, donations in LaVaughn’s name may be made to the
LaVaughn and Bartholomew “Keck” Kunny Endowed Biology Scholarship of Beloit College.