Obituary of LaVay M. Tobin
LaVay was born to Albert and Olga (Martel) Schempp on April 3, 1935 at her parent’s farm four miles south and 1½ mile east of Menno, South Dakota. She was baptized by Rev. Christian Heuer and confirmed by Rev. Edward Bischoff at Grace Lutheran Church, Menno. Her confirmation verse was Isaiah 41:10.
The youngest of five children, LaVay attended Klaudt School (Rural #14) through 8th grade and graduated from Menno High School in 1953. She began work as a bookkeeper for both Farmers Union Oil Company and Menno Lumber Company.
Lindkugal Road Construction was rebuilding roads in the Menno area where LaVay and her high school friend, Dorothea Prouty, found and latched onto the best-looking fellas in the crew. LaVay married George Tobin in 1958. They lived in the Menno area and ran a trucking business until George’s death in 1982.
As a clerk for Arnold and Arden Dewald at the Menno Livestock Auction, LaVay loved the excitement of Don Sweeter’s auction call. That prompted her to attend and graduate from auctioneer school in Mason City, Iowa, in 1975. An entrepreneur with no desire to report to a boss, LaVay partnered with Verlyn Wollman to auction household and land sales. LaVay also teamed up with Peggy Traunum and Alice Frasch to run a housecleaning and indoor/outdoor painting business in the Menno/Scotland area. She moved to Sioux Falls, SD in 2001.
Family and close friends called her “Babe”, a nickname she claims her dad bestowed upon her when he couldn’t remember her actual name (she was after all the baby of the family). LaVay thoroughly enjoyed auctioneering and meeting people. Favorite pass times were telling stories, watching Minnesota Twins baseball games, and embroidering dishtowels and baby quilts. Babe will be remembered for her boisterous personality, colorful vocabulary, persistent loyalty, and mischievous smile.
Surviving LaVay are brother, Leland (Dorothy) Schempp; sister, Carol Mettler; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Preceding LaVay in death were parents, Albert and Olga; husband, George; sister, Anita Walker and husband, Royce; sister, Cleopha Dirks and husband, Harold; brother-in-law, Calvin Mettler; and niece, Cindy Dirks (Shepherd).
Memorials may be designated for the Menno Pioneer Power Show and can be sent to Menno Pioneer Heritage Association, PO Box 452, Menno, SD, 57045.
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