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Gordon "Ray" LaValla, 77

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Gordon "Ray" LaValla, age 77, of Hastings, died Thursday, Nov. 28, in Red Wing.

Gordon was born Aug. 1, 1936, in Williams, Minn., to Walter and Elsie (Zerck) LaValla. He married Mary Ficker on Aug. 1, 1959, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Trier, and had worked for Smead Manufacturing for 42 years. Gordon loved farming and enjoyed his hobby farm. He could fix and build "anything" and was willing to teach others. His family was most important to him and he loved them very much. He was a great neighbor, friend, co-worker and boss.

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He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Julie; and brother Jack.

Gordon is survived by his wife Mary of 54 years; children Jack (Susan) LaValla of St. Charles, Minn., Mary Jo (Jeff) Schaffer, Jean (Mike) Ritt and Dan (Heather) LaValla, all of Hastings; 14 grandchildren Mary Beth, Stephen, Kimberly, Theresa, Sarah, Jamie, Jessica, Abby, Bree, Samantha, Jessica, Daniel, Jade, and Corey; also 11 great-grandchildren; brothers Derwood LaValla of North Branch, and Walter Jr. (Josie) LaValla of Hastings.

The funeral Mass, officiated by Fr. Scott Carl, will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 2035 W. 15th St., Hastings. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, at the Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home, 201 E. 7th St., Hastings and one hour prior to the service at church. Pallbearers are his grandchildren; Stephen LaValla, Daniel Ritt, Corey Most, Jeff Spanhanks, Jade Burvee, Bree Schaffer, Kimberly Halfond, and Jessica Spanhanks.

Arrangements made with Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home, Hastings. 651-437-9419. www.caturia-smidtfh.com

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