Lillian Leota Knudsvig, 81, of Decorah, peacefully passed away while surrounded by two of her sons Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at the Gundersen Health System Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. Visitation is Thursday, May 31, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ossian Lutheran Church, Ossian, and one hour before services at the church Friday. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, June 1, at Ossian Lutheran Church, Ossian. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery, Ossian. Schmitz-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ossian, is helping the family with the arrangements.

Leota was born in Decorah Aug. 2, 1936, to Naida (Peckham) and Harold “Hal” Rawson and raised in rural Castalia. She attended Ossian High School, Coe College and St. Luke’s School of Nursing, graduating with a degree as a registered nurse (RN). While still in nursing school, she married her high school sweetheart, Lein J. Knudsvig, May 20, 1956.

Leota worked as an RN in Waterloo, Vinton, Decorah and Postville, retiring in 2001. After briefly living and working in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Leota and Lein moved to Vinton in 1962, where they raised their family of five boys. They returned to Decorah in 1988, where their fifth son, Dan, graduated from high school.

Leota was an avid reader, loved to play cards (especially bridge) with friends and family, trivial pursuit and lunches with her gang and relaxing at her piano. Her sons will always love and appreciate her for her simple approach to life.

Leota was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Vinton and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah.

Leota is survived by her five sons: Paul (Belkis) of Rye, N.Y.; Brian (Julie) of Minnetonka, Minn.; Lindsay (Connie) of Delavan, Wis.; Wade (Annie) of Corpus Christi, Texas; Dan (Beth) of Gilbert, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; two brothers, Karel (Joyce) Rawson of West Union and Wes (Mariett) Rawson of Castalia; and many nephews and nieces.

Leota was preceded in death by her husband, Lein, in 2007; her parents; her sister, Madeline Buddenberg; and her brother, Robert Rawson.