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Van Liew, Leona Louise (O’Connor)

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Van Liew, Leona Louise (O’Connor)

August 16, 1942 — January 6, 2023

Louise (O’Connor) Van Liew passed away January 6th, 2023 in Lees Summit, MO due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. She was surrounded by family.

Louise was born on August 16th, 1942, in Parsons, KS to Leo O’Connor and Leona (Ruttgen) O’Connor where she grew up and graduated from St. Patrick’s High School. After graduating, she was intent on moving out of her small town. Her and her mother loaded all of her personal belongings into her car and she went to Joplin, MO to attend business school. After completion, she worked as a secretary at several companies including Empire District Electric in Joplin, Mo and Midwest Research in Kansas City.

She met and dated David Van Liew before becoming engaged on June 9, 1969. They were married on July 12, 1969 and Louise worked at their family business Van Liew’s Home & Garden while they raised their family.

She returned to the workforce in 1985 where she was an executive assistant in the government affairs at Marion Laboratories until she retired in 1995. She then worked in the family business, where she was much loved by customers, until her official retirement in 2010.

She adored her kids and grandchildren and was very active in their sports and activities. She enjoyed traveling, laughed often and made it easy for people to love her with her easy going nature and caring personality. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2010 she remained active and battled the disease with strength and grace until being admitted to hospital the day after Christmas.

Louise was preceded in death by both her parents, her two sisters Eileen O’Connor and Patricia (O’Connor) Mulberry, and her two nieces, Andrea O’Connor and Lynette Busby.

She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, David Van Liew, her brother Larry O’Connor and brother-in-law Thomas Mulberry. Along with her two daughters Michelle (Jeff) Van Liew Smith of Lee’s Summit, MO and Becky (Mylan) Gehle of Republic, KS along with her step sons Kevin (& Kelli) and Mark Van Liew. She also is survived by her grandchildren Sean Van Liew, Alex Van Liew, Jake Hoesli, Heath Hoesli, Rachel Smith and Owen Smith. Along with four great grandchildren Vance Hoesli, Kymry Hoesli, Grayson Van Liew, and Leo Van Liew.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday January 10th at 10:00 am with visitation from 9:00 to 10:00 am, preceding the service at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, MO 64138.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled Veterans Association or the Red Cross.

Service Information

A memorial service will be held Tuesday January 10th at 10:00 am with visitation from 9:00 to 10:00 am, preceding the service at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, MO 64138.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled Veterans Association or the Red Cross.

Van Liew, Leona Louise (O’Connor)'s Guestbook

The things I remember about Louise go back to our Hickman Mills Booster Club Days. Her friendliness to all she met was one of her outstanding qualities. Her smile, her willingness to help where needed especially the concession stand, and her faithfulness to support all sporting activities were appreciated. We have watched lots of Softball games because our daughters played together on the Hickman Mills HS team. We send our deepest sympathy to Dave and Michelle and the rest of the family. May your memories comfort you. Donna and Don Hoch

Donna & Don Hoch

Michelle and Dave, words are hard to find to express how shocked and saddened we are at the loss of Louise. What a wonderful woman, who was perfect for Dave. We are so sorry, but are comforted that she is no longer suffering. Our thoughts are with you and the grandkids. We were blessed to know her.

Connie and Jim Pettit

Dave and Michelle, both of you are in our hearts with the passing of your wife and Mother.Louise was a kind hearted lady. In all the years we knew Louise, we never heard her say an unkind word. I read on Facebook that she was beautiful inside and outside. Those words are very true. Her friendship will be missed. With our love, Fred and Pat Brown

Fred and Pat Brown

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