SPARTA — Ida La Vonne Helgeson, 98, of Sparta passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at the Morrow Memorial Home in Sparta.

She was born May 25, 1919, to the late Reinard and Marie (Almlie) Hanson in Viroqua.

She and her two brothers, Maurice and Rueben attended school in rural Viroqua, a long trek from their farm. She recalled the frigid winters either walking to school, or later riding in the families Model T, which was a dramatic improvement.

When Ida was in her late teens, the family moved to Viroqua, where she finished school and began formal voice training. She developed a beautiful soprano voice and joined the Fortney twins to form a trio named, “The Shadow Harmonets.” In 1939, the group recorded a number by B.G. DeSalva called, “Wishing Will Make It So.” Ida continued to sing and perform throughout her life, performing in choral groups and her church choir. She sang at dozens of weddings and funerals at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sparta, which she was a member of for 68 years. She led Shalom Circle, and volunteered for many church functions.

Ida was a fabulous and loving mother, wife and friend to many, always greeting them with her beautiful smile and kind words. She married Harlan Helgeson in December 1944, in Viroqua. To their union, two darling daughters were born. The family moved to Sparta in 1953, where they have resided until now. Helgi passed away in 1994.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her dear brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews and cousins. She is survived by her two darling daughters, Cynthia Simpkinson (David) and Gretchen Grewal (Gurmohan) all of Sparta; stepgrand/great-grandchildren; and nephews, James Hanson and Ronald Hanson.

The family wishes to extend gratitude to the staff of Parkview, MaryCrest, BridgePath and the Morrow Memorial Home, which were Ida’s homes for 15 years. We thank you for all of your love and excellent care.

A celebration of Ida’s life will be held at a later date. Torkelson Page-Smith funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at

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