Lavena Sherie (Moore) Luneckas-Schaaf

Lavena Sherie (Moore) Luneckas-Schaaf

Lavena Sherie (Moore) Luneckas-Schaaf

Quincy, Ill.

Our mother was exquisite – with the kind of beauty that radiates as much from inside as out. Elegant, intelligent, kind and patient, she made life an art.

Lavena Sherie (Moore) Luneckas-Schaaf, 76, passed away on Dec. 2, 2022, in Quincy, Ill., after a full life bursting with creativity, laughter, positivity and love. Born in Winston, Mo., Sherie grew up in the Iowa City area, the eldest of seven children in a bustling household. A 1964 graduate of City High, academic excellence and artistic talent led to a scholarship at the University of Iowa as an art major.

As it was told to us, the pretty coed was literally swept off her feet by the handsome captain of the fencing team – Karl “Heinz” Luneckas – who then kissed her on a dare and repeatedly asked her out until she finally relented. The couple fell in love, married in 1969 and were soon busy raising five children on an acreage in rural Iowa City.

A devoted wife and mother, Sherie carried life’s challenges with grace. While helping with homework and managing a hectic schedule of sports, dance, music, drama, and academic activities for three daughters and two sons, she started her own business. Mom opened Alternatives Computer Accounting Service, emerging as a role model in an industry then dominated by men. With her children in school in West Branch, the creative entrepreneur worked with Dad to purchase and revive the historic Hoover House downtown; reopening the building, expanding her computer services and introducing Oma & Opa’s Country Gifts and Crafts.

This gifted artist loved to sketch, paint, make jewelry and was a brilliant seamstress. Mom always put her heart into her creative endeavors, which are cherished by us, her friends, and relatives. Eventually her artistic drive resulted in a second career. She blended her education, talent, skills, and passion to work as an interior designer, establishing Absolutely You – Interiors by Sherie. After a lifetime of creating beautiful rooms in her own home and for family, Sherie now used her innate abilities to help clients live brighter lives in well-appointed and wonderfully designed spaces.

Mom’s faith was always unshakable. A woman after God’s own heart, she was a dedicated servant who believed in His promises and the power of prayer. Sherie was a patient listener and wise counselor, willing to take the time and make the effort to understand; always there when she was needed. Ever supportive, loyal, and dedicated to her family, in 2000 Mom was by Dad’s side as he battled cancer until his death in August of that year.

After reconnecting with former City High classmate Robert “Bo” Schaaf, the two dated and fell in love; they married in 2002. Using her talents once again, they worked together to design and build a home in Iowa City. The couple enjoyed traveling in the Midwest, feeding the wildlife at their home and watching the Hawkeyes until he passed in 2017.

Once retired, Sherie spent much of her time with her 12 grandchildren. Our children called her “Nana” and she painted murals in their bedrooms, held kitchen dance parties to the oldies, designed costumes, taught art lessons, started craft projects, and sewed pajamas and special blankets for each and every one of them. They were her joy, and to them she was magical.

Those left to cherish memories of Sherie are her children, Lezli Luneckas-Broomhall, Anthony “Tony” (Heidi) Luneckas, Darin (Jaimie) Luneckas, Nikki (Brad) Hoyt and Kiersten Luneckas; and her 12 grandchildren, Alexandra (Greg) Gillian, Trystin Luneckas, Madison Luneckas, Sydnie Hoyt, Kaiya Luneckas, Delaynie Luneckas, Jacob Hoyt, Karlee Luneckas, Joziphene Broomhall, Cash Luneckas, Zachary “Heinz” Broomhall and Luke Hoyt. She is also survived by sisters, Linda (Tom) Kendrick, Vanessa (David) Stucker and Angela Phillyaw; brothers, David (Vicki) Moore and Charles “Chuck” (Terri) Moore; and many nieces and nephews.

Sherie was preceded in death by her husbands, Karl Heinz Luneckas and Robert Schaaf; her sister, Avaril Moore; and her parents, Erma and Lester Moore.

To the end, Mom lived with dignity and grace, creatively filling her life with the art of beautiful moments while appreciating simple pleasures. Sherie enjoyed singing, laughing until she cried and graham crackers with milk at bedtime. Her positive attitude was contagious and highly suggested, as we were often told, “Put a smile on your face and a song in your heart, then get out there and make it better.” The world is a better place because of our mother. Sherie loved her family, her friends and her Lord Jesus Christ unconditionally. She will be intensely missed.

A private memorial service for the family will be held in Quincy on Saturday, Dec. 10. A public Celebration of Life is planned for next summer in Iowa City; we will share more details about the event in January of 2023. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sherie Luneckas Memorial Fund to support hands-on Alzheimer’s and dementia training for healthcare workers.

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