Cover photo for Ramona Mae "Mona" Van Asten's Obituary
Ramona Mae "Mona" Van Asten Profile Photo
1933 Ramona 2021

Ramona Mae "Mona" Van Asten

August 26, 1933 — April 26, 2021

“She fought the good fight, she finished the race, she kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

After a valiant effort to beat pancreatic cancer, Ramona (Mona) Van Asten, 87, lost the battle and passed away on Monday, April 26, 2021. Mom was a role model throughout – suffering in silence, praying regularly and trusting in God’s will.

Mom was born August 26, 1933, daughter of the late Clarence and Celia (Kruszinski) Litscher. At the tender age of 6, her mother died of breast cancer. On May 8, 1952, Mom married the “love of her life” Gordon (Gordy) Van Asten at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in downtown Appleton. Together they were able to laugh a little louder, cry a little softer and live a little stronger, because they always stood together… partners for life.

In fact, the most important part of Mom’s life was her love affair with our Dad, and raising, caring for and cherishing her children: Michael, Cindy (Jeff Filz), Susan (Richard Maas), Kathy (Brian Murphy); grandchildren: Kristen (Michael) Hanson, Lisa (Darrell) Haney, Patrick (Maggie) Murphy, Kyle Murphy, Tyler Murphy; great-grandchildren: Kathryn and Nathan Hanson, Wesley Haney, Maeve and Brigid Murphy, with another Murphy expected soon. Mom also celebrated many happy occasions with Mike’s lifelong close friends Steve Tremel, Deb De Bruin and the late Jim Weiss.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Al, Jerry and Clarence, Jr. and sister Virginia, all who lost their lives to cancer; her father and mother-in-law Arnold and Anne Van Asten, brother-in-law Jerome (Whitey) and sister-in-law Donna. Another sister-in-law, Vonnie Natrop, survives.

Today, the entire family mourns Mom’s death. But we also celebrate her extraordinary life. Hers was not a series of dramatic events, but rather, a comfortable flow of ordinary, often overlooked activities that, when combined, created a life filled with purpose and meaning.

Mom was the (mostly) silent partner behind our Dad’s successful business operation: ‘Gordy’s Food Fair’ supermarkets. She was a renowned cook and baker, gifting each of us with a collection of her favorite recipes. She was an avid reader. She was a formidable opponent in board games and cards.

She lived for her family. Together we traveled the globe – from Alaska to the Dominican Republic to numerous points in-between. Her luck in Las Vegas was legendary. Statistically, the odds of hitting a royal flush are slim – one hand among thousands dealt. Not for Mom – we believe she holds the world record.

We were blessed to have Mom central in our lives. Faith helps us understand she couldn’t live in her body anymore. She will be forever missed; we continue to ache. But she lives on in our hearts and our memories… and will do so until we meet again.

All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on – in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here… Death ends a life, not a relationship. (From ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom)

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a private service for immediate family will be held at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church. A tribute to Mom’s “story worth sharing” will be announced at a later date.

A heartfelt thank-you to family and friends for their thoughts and prayers as Mom fought this insidious disease. A thank-you to Jim and Miriam Mulva/ MD Anderson Cancer Center – through their collective efforts Mom was able to enjoy two additional healthy years. Thank-you to Amie and Todd for their loving care at Cherry Meadows, and Sara at Brewster Village. God seems to bring ‘saints’ into our lives at just the right times.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ramona Mae "Mona" Van Asten, please visit our flower store.


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