Vonna Jane Koser DeLong was born to Chester A. Koser and Clara Haack Koser of rural Hoffman, MN on Nov 14, 1935. She was the youngest of eight children. In 1941, her family purchased a farm near Herman, MN where Vonna went to Country School District 19 until 7th grade and graduated from Herman High School in 1952 at age 16.
Vonna enrolled in Moorhead State Teachers College in the fall of 1952, and in the fall of 1954 started her first year of teaching at Wheaton Elementary School. Vonna continued her education at Moorhead State University, earning a master’s degree in Library and Media Science. She later retired from teaching at Herman-Norcross in 1993.
Vonna met Ben, “the love of her life”, roller skating at the Norcross Hall in the winter of 1950. Ben and Vonna were married on April 2, 1955 and moved to the family farm near Herman, which they later purchased. From this union one son Ben VIII, and three daughters Kandis Kae, Jana Joy and Ginger Ginean were born. They lived on the family farm for 49 years before retiring to Alexandria, MN in 2000.
In the spring of 1988, Vonna became the 7th person in the world to receive a cochlear implant and the first to successfully hear on the telephone after surgery.
Vonna continued her advocacy for the hearing impaired with her service dog Cody, who was bred and gifted to her by her daughter. Along with Ben, she and Cody toured the tri-state area demonstrating the abilities of service dogs for the deaf and hearing impaired. Vonna was named 1997 Deaf Woman of the Year for her work in this area.
Ben and Vonna wintered in Mission, TX for 20 years and did mission work across the border in Mexico. They also did many mission works in MN for their church including sandbagging flood waters in both Roseau and Southern MN.
Vonna passed away Friday, September 15 at her home at Grand Arbor, Alexandria, MN. She was 87 years old.
Vonna is survived by three children: Kandis (Scott) Ringdahl of Glenwood, MN; Jana (Todd) Raasch of Seattle, WA and Ginger (Scott) Nanik of Anna, OH; eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Ben, son Ben VIII, grandson Bryce, and seven brothers and sisters and their spouses.
Visitation will be held on Monday, Sept. 25, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Herman United Methodist Church with a Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be at the Lakeside Cemetery in Herman. Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home. <www.andersonfuneral.net>