Private First Class Tristin Janey Laue

Private First Class Tristin Janey Laue was born on May 11, 1998 in Osage, IA and died April 27, 2019 in Waverly, IA.

Tristin Janey Laue entered the United States Army on July 27, 2016, in Johnston, IA, served during the Persian Gulf War era and reached the rank of Private First Class before being discharged on April 14, 2018 in Fort Riley, KS.

Tristin Janey Laue is buried at Harlington Cemetery in Waverly, Iowa and can be located at

Armed Forces Grave Registration

Release Date: April 27, 2082.

Obituary

Tristin Janey Laue, 20, of Waverly, Iowa passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at his home in Waverly from complications of Fibrolamellar Liver Cancer.

Tristin was born on May 11, 1998, in Osage, Iowa, the son of Mitchell and Sarah (Doty) Laue. Tristin was united in marriage to Tianna Hargrafen on April 27, 2019. He was baptized in May of 1999, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton. Tristin attended elementary school in Cresco and middle school in New Hampton. He graduated from New Hampton High School in 2016. He entered the United States Army National Guard in July of 2016 and was medically discharged and retired from the Army in April of 2018. He attended UNI from 2018-2019. He worked at Fareway Stores and most recently for Ronan Industries.

Tristin enjoyed collecting guns and shooting with his friends. He also enjoyed gaming and collecting pieces for his Star Wars Armada game. He also really enjoyed boating, jet skiing, and camping with friends and family.

Tristin was very focused on doing well in school. He also had a great relationship with his boss Ronan (Ronan Industries), whom he liked and respected tremendously. He always looked forward to new challenges and finding new solutions to problems at work.

Tristin was very goal orientated and had a bright future ahead of him. He was studying at UNI for Engineering Design and also enjoyed spending time with his new found love, Tianna.

Tristin is survived by his wife, Tianna; his father, Mitchell (Debra) Laue of Waverly; his mother, Sarah (Kurt) Larson of New Hampton; his brothers and sisters, Braden Laue, Madison Stoffregen, Zak Larson, Marley Larson, and Kane Larson; paternal grandmother, Janice Laue of Des Moines; maternal grandfather, Gary Doty of Omaha, Nebraska; paternal step-grandparents, Joel (Nanc) Smith of Shell Rock and Michael Harn of Waterloo; maternal step-grandparents, Gary (Deb) Larson; his father and mother-in-law, Kevin (Shelly) Hargrafen of Dyersville and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; along with the family dog, Bentley. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, William Laue; his maternal grandmother, Paulette Doty and a family dog, Frodo.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Crosspoint Church in Waverly with Pastor Jonathan Barthalow officiating. Burial will be held in Harlington Cemetery in Waverly with full military rites at the grave conducted by the Army Honor Guard. Visitation will be held on Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Crosspoint Church in Waverly and also for one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Tristin Laue Memorial Account at Veridian Credit Union in Waverly. Condolences may be sent to 403 3rd St. N.W. , Waverly, Iowa 50677 and online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com

Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly is assisting the family. 319-352-1187

“Tristin Lau Obituary,” Kaiser Corson Funeral Homes, Inc., accessed May 4, 2019. http://www.kaisercorson.com/obituary.php?id=1844542.


Newspaper Articles

Celebration of Life

Tristin Janey Laue

May 11, 1998 – April 27, 2019

Tristin Janey Laue, 20, of Waverly, Iowa passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at his home in Waverly from complications of Fibrolamellar Liver Cancer.

Tristin was born on May 11, 1998, in Osage, the son of Mitchell and Sarah (Doty) Laue. Tristin was united in marriage to Tianna Hargrafen on April 27, 2019. He was baptized in May of 1999, at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton. Tristin attended elementary school in Cresco and middle school in New Hampton. He graduated from New Hampton High School in 2016. He entered the United States Army National Guard in July of 2016 and was medically discharged and retired from the Army in April of 2018. He attended UNI from 2018 – 2019. He worked at Fareway Stoes and most recently for Ronan Industries.

Tristin enjoyed collecting guns and shooting with his friends. He also enjoyed gaming and collecting pieces for his Star Wars Armada game. He also really enjoyed boating, jet skiing, and camping with friends and family.

Tristin was very focused on doing well in school. He also had a great relationship with his boss Ronan (Ronan Industries), whom he like and respected tremendously. He always looked forward to new challenges and finding new solutions to problems at work.

Tristin was very goal oriented and had a bright future ahead of him. He was studying at UNI for Engineering Design and also enjoyed spending time with his new found love, Tianna.

Tristin is survived by his wife, Tianna; his father; Mitchell (Debra) Laue, of Waverly; his mother, Sarah (Kurt) Larson, of New Hampton; his brothers and sisters, Braden Laue, Madison Stoffregen, Zak Larson, Marley Larson, and Kane Larson; paternal grandmother, Janice Laue, of Des Moines; maternal grandfather, Gary Doty, of Omaha, Nebraska; paternal step-grandparents, Joel (Nanc) Smith, of Shell Rock, and Michael Harn, of Waterloo; maternal step-grandparents, Gary (Deb) Larson; his father and mother-in-law, Kevin (Shelly) Hargrafen, of Dyersville; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins; along with the family dog, Bentley. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, William Laue; his maternal grandmother, Paulette Doty; and a family dog, Frodo.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Crosspoint Church in Waverly with Pastor Jonathan Barthalow officiating. Burial will be held in Harlington Cemetery in Waverly with full military rites at the grave conducted by the Army Honor Guard. Visitation will be held on Friday from 4 – 8 p.m. at the Crosspoint Church in Waverly and also for one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Tristin Lue Memorial Account at Veridian Credit Union in Waverly. Online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com

Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly is assisting the family.

Waverly Democrat. “Celebration of Life.” May 2, 2019, sec. A.


A tender Tribute

Couple’s love triumphs over death as Tristin & Tianna pledge commitment in backyard ceremony
by Anelia Dimitrova

There was a pastor.
And a passage from the Bible.

Tristan Laue and Tianna Hargrafen pledged their love to each other on Saturday, April 27, 2019, during a backyard ceremony with the Rev. Jonathan Barthalow officiating.

And bridesmaids.
And groomsmen.
And a wedding cake.
And laughter.
And tears.
And a photographer.
And live music.

But beyond the must-do list of a wedding celebration, what unfolded on Saturday afternoon in Debbie Nichols’ and Mitch Laue’s backyard in Waverly, was a tender tribute to love that knew no bounds.

Rarely is this phrase used to mean love on the threshold of life, but on this day, as 19-year-old bride was web and widowed on the same day, that was the only kind of love that could stand witness to the transience of human life, and to the resilience of the human spirit.

A surreal celebration and an abysmal defeat, all in the same bite of life; an irreconcilable duo of clashing emotions that distil existence to a single sip, a single breth, a single twitch.

The dreamy promise of what could have been and the dire reality of what is.

The paradoxes of life and death, all blended in one.

That what Tianna Hargrafen, 19, faced as she walked down the aisle with her father, the first one of the Hargrafen sisters to say her vows.

A tent warmed by propane heaters and the presence of friends and family, was the dome where the union of Tristin and

Tianna shows off her gown as she poses for her wedding photo after the ceremony.

Tianna was about to take place.

Hurriedly put together – with only a few days separating the engagement and the vows as Tristin’s clock was ticking fast – the celebration was a culmination of pain and faith in a gripping embrace.

There was no time for a wedding license, only for Corinthians 13:4-8, which is often quoted in marriage ceremonies.

But the patience and kindness of love, and its selflessness, which are at the core of this passage, rung with such tenderness, and with such truth, when Pastor Jonathan Barthalow, of Crosspoint Church in Waverly, spoke them in a powerful voice.

“Love is patient, love is kind,” he said, facing the couple, reading the prophetic words on his iPad. “It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud […] It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

It was that perseverance that kept Tristin battling a rare form of liver cancer. Diagnosed in 2017, shortly after he enlisted in the Iowa National Guard fresh out of high school, he held out hope he would be able to conquer it.

But treatments and immunotherapy at the Iowa City VA Hospital could only do so much, and in February, he suffered a heart attack, among many other complications.

In the midst of the cancer’s assault on his body, what fortified his will to live was a budding online romance with a Dyersville girl, which started in December of 2018, and eventually blossomed into a face-to-face courtship.

Fright from the start, Tristin was up front with Tianna about his cancer, but she didn’t back away.

The two found out they had the same birthday – May 11 – just a year apart, and they saw this as a sign they are meant to spend eternity together.

They shared a passion for German Shepherds, and Tianna’s pup, Max, eventually learned to love Tristin.

In the fall, Tristin, a 2016 New Hampton school graduate had started classes at the University of Northern Iowa, another one of his unfulfilled dreams. He withdrew from classes as his condition worsenend, but recently, UNI’s VP for Student Affairs, Paula Knudson, and Chiquita Loveless, Military and Veterans Student Services coordinator, showed up at the house and awarded Tristan a certificate of recognition, as he sat in his recliner, tethered to the oxygen tank.

In the meantime, Tristin’s brother, Braden, followed in Tristin’s footsteps, and enlisted in the Marines.

Luckily, Tristin was able to make the trip to San Diego for Braden’s basic training graduation ceremony, a blessing in retrospect.

But the cancer was ruthless.

Tianna shares a laugh wither her sister prior to the ceremony

As Tristin slowly began to accept his fate – and what a ferocious fight he put up – he wanted to cram as much in the remaining weeks, days and hours as one would in a lifetime.

On Wednesday, he told his parents he wanted to marry Tianna.

“She is my angel,” he told Debbie Nichols, his step mother. “I want to marry her.”

He then called Tianna’s parents, Kevin and Shelly Hargrafen, and they gave him their blessing.

On Easter Sunday, sitting in his recliner in the living room, he popped the question, but not in the traditional, fairy tale way.

Knowing his condition, he wanted to make sure it was fair to Tianna and she, too, wanted to marry him out of love, and not out of pity.

“Of course, I am OK with this,” Tianna told him. “I have been here for you for so long, it takes a lot to get rid of me.”

Her ability to face adversity with a smile and a joke lightened the othewise heavy air. The two then found a ring and a wedding band online, which a woman wanted to get rid of.

“We thought it was perfect,” Tianna said.

And just like that, they were ready to throw a wedding together. And so was everyone else in the family.

Tianna was giddy with the idea, “Oh, my gosh,” she thought. “We are going to have a wedding.”

Tristin wanted it big, “benefit big,” he told his step mom, much like the community-wide event the family hosted in 2017 to raise funds for his medical bills. Then, over 900 people showed up.

As it turned out, the wedding was a more modest affair but deeply meaningful, magnificent, and in a way, mournful.

With the vows planned for Saturday, preparations also needed to be speed-dialed.

Debbie Nichols, the stepmom, posted on Facebook that she needed help – from wedding decorations to food to a tent to everything in between – and the community responded.

A woman gave Tianna, who is 6-foot-1, a wedding dress she had bought for herself, but never used. Others furnished dresses for the bridesmaids.

Tianna poses with her bridesmaids after the ceremony.

The whole affair was a release of months of pent-up helplessness and frustration with the disease.

Cancer had put the family’s life on pause in so many way, and on fast forward in others.

For Tristin and Tianna, it was the latter. For Debbie and Mitch, who themselves had planned to wed in 2017, it was the forner. They had postponed their ceremony indefinitely while they cared for Tristin.

An now on Saturday, they stood by him and Tianna, supporting them in their dream to be married.

Fluffy, white snowflakes fell from the sky on this uncharacteristically wintry day, April 27, an aberrant reminder of the harsh winter that had blanketed the area for months, but somehow gentle and fitting for the occasion.

Or perhaps it was fate’s not that Tristin and Tianna’s vows were as pure as the snow that tiptoed on the roof of the tent as the pastor asked Tristin to repeat after him the pledge of commitment.

Tianna took the whims of the weather in stride. Both her parents and her grandparents had been narried on rainy days, a good omen, she said, that the union was going to last.

“They have been married for years and years,” she said.

But that was not her predicament, despite the rain which followed the snow.

Just minutes prior to the ceremony, the groomsment had lifted Tristin from the chair he was resting in, and carefully place his fragile body into a wheelchair, so he could be taken to the tent where the guests awaited.

Arm-in-arm with her dad, Tianna managed a smile as she walked down the aisle which was marked by a piece of white material rolled out over the hastily put together plywood floor atop the grass.

Occasional sobs, coming from the bridesmaids, the parents and the friends and family sitting in the makeshift pews, punctuated the ceremony, but Tianna held her tears.

Tristin, who greeted his bride with the biggest smile he could manage, didn’t just say he would take Tianna, in response to the pastor’s, “Tristin, do you commit yourself to Tianna?”

“I absolutely do,” he told the pastor with the all the strength he could muster.

“Tianna, do you commit yourself to Tristin?” the pastor asked.

“I absolutely do,” she said, her voice overcome with emotion.

It was the moment of triumph of lover over eternity.

They “absolutely” did profess their absolute love for each other that day.

And it was the one and only time they got to say it.

And it was the one and only time they got to live it.

And it was the one and only time their friends and family got to hear it.

“He is much braver than me for sticking around,” Tianna later said, reflecting on their short courtship.

Around 8:30 that evening, Tristin took his last breath in the presence of his wife, his family and the hospice nurse.

“I’ve got all the memories,” Tianna said, not concealing her surprise of how quickly the community came together to honor Tristin’s last wish.

Ultimately, the ceremony was a tender tribute to both Tristin and Tianna.

“I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.

Dimitrova, Anelia K. “A tender Tribute.” Bremer County Independent, April 30, 2019, sec. A.


Jam for the Fam

Benefit concert for cancer-striken 19-year-old soldier Tristin Laue will be held Saturday at The Centre
by Anelia Dimitrova

A 19-year-old soldier who joined the military to fight for his country is waging a battle on a front he never expected.

Tristin Laue, of Waverly, is fighting a rare form of liver cancer, which has limited his treatment options.

“The medical community is still learning about this cancer,” said Debbie Nicholds, Tristin’s stepmom.

To boost Tristin’s spirit and thus up his chances for recovery, his friends and the community are coalescing around him to raise money for an experimental treatment in Germany and othr expenses that have falleon on the family as a result of his illness, and an accidnet his stepsister was in.

Called “Jam for the Fam,” the benefit will take place at The Centre in Waverly from 11 a.m. to midnight on Oct. 14.

A silent auction will start when the doors open and end at 9 p.m.; and a live auction will take place from 6 to 7 p.m.

An array of 12 bands will cater to the audience, including a performance by Tristin’s father, Mitch, who will do an acoustic performance at 5 p.m. and wrap up the evening at 11 p.m. with his band, Bar Flyz.

A popular Waverly group, Redline, will perform at 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 11 to 17. Admission is free for 10-year-olds and under.

Tristin was diagnosed with the rare condition in February after tests revealed the pneumonia-like symptoms he was experiencing were actually caused by a 17-centimeter mass on his liver.

He was home for Christmas break after hiving had just graduated from basic training.

Tristin Laue, center, is pictured with his stepsister, Madison Stoffregen, stepmother, Debbie Nichols, father, Mitch, and brother, Braden.

The disease has caused him to lose 70 pounds, but his spirit is strong.

He was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he witnessed when he found out that the benefit organizers were planning the event.

Tristin goes to the Mayo Clinic weekly or bi-weekly and is expected to be discharged from the military at the end of the year.

He wanted to become a helicopter mechanic.

He is the son of Mitch Laue, of Waverly, and Sarah Larson, of New Hampton.

Asked what he wishes for himself, he fought back tears.

“I want to be cancer-free and move on with my life,” he said.

Dimitrova, Anelia K. “Jam for the Fam.” Waverly Democrat, October 12, 2017, sec. A.


Tristin Laue Benefit Oct. 14

Tristin lives here in Waverly with his parents Mitch & Debbie. The benefit will be held on Oct. 14, from noon to midnight (Doors open at 11 a.m.) at The Centre in Waverly. (The old Wal-Mart by Hy-Vee) There is a full band line up and jam sessions all day. There is a silent auction, a live auction, raffle prizes, bake sale, merchandise and food & far (all day) available for purchase. Credit Card Payments will be available for merchandise at the benefit.

Please join us in supporting Tristin’s fight against cancer. Medical expenses are mounting and they are seeking options for alternative medicine.

Waverly Democrat. “Tristin Laue Benefit Oct. 14.” October 12, 2017, sec. A.


Tristin Laue Benefit Oct. 14

Tristin lives here in Waverly with his parents Mitch & Debbie. The benefit will be held on Oct. 14, from noon to midnight (Doors open at 11 a.m.) at The Centre in Waverly. (The old Wal-Mart by Hy-Vee) There is a full band line up and jam sessions all day. There is a silent auction, a live auction, raffle prizes, bake sale, merchandise and food & bar (all day) available for purchase. Credit Card Payments will be available for merchandise at the benefit.

Live Music Schedule:
Noon – Six Shooter
1 p.m. – Youth Gone Wild
2 p.m. – Richie Lee & Fab 50’s
3 p.m. – Last Call
4 p.m. – Guilty Pleasure
5 p.m. – Acoustic Open Jam
6 p.m. – Acoustic Open Jam
7 p.m. – Hunter Gray
8 p.m. – Ataglance
9 p.m. – Redline
10 p.m. – Challenger
11 p.m. – Bar Flyz w/ Open Jam

Please save the date and join us in supporting Tristin’s fight against cancer. Medical expenses are mounting and they are seeking options for alternative medicine.

Bremer County Independent. “Tristin Laue Benefit Oct. 14.” October 10, 2017, sec. A.


Benefit planned for Iowa Guard member diagnosed with rare cancer

Tristin Laue

WAVERLY — Tristin Laue was at the send-off ceremony last month for around 100 Iowa Army National Guard members now deployed to the Middle East.

It wasn’t how he planned it.

Laue was in the crowd watching the ceremony, not standing with his fellow soldiers, because he was diagnosed with a rare cancer late last year.

“That was a hard day. That was a weird day,” said Laue’s stepmother and caretaker Debbie Nichols. “That send-off was very emotional for him. For me, it was mixed.”

Nichols would have worried about Laue if he were deployed to a war zone. But his diagnosis of stage four fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma — a rare form of liver cancer — has caused a different kind of heartache.

Nichols said the Guard has been immensely helpful. Laue, 19, of Waverly, is still enlisted, though is expected to be discharged at the end of the year.

At the urging of Drill Sergeant Dan Wegner, the family decided to host a benefit to aid with Laue’s medical expenses. It started small, but has grown due to Laue’s father — Mitch Laue’s — connections to local bands.

Rachelle Hahn, an organizer and good friend of Nichols, said Laue is expected to be discharged from the Guard soon and will lose his health coverage. The family also looking into alternative treatments.

October is liver cancer awareness month. Though the timing is coincidental, Nichols said part of the idea of the benefit is to raise awareness about this rare disease.

Nichols said Laue joined the Guard because he wanted a change in circumstance and enjoyed the camaraderie of a unit. He was on leave after advanced individual training, where he learned the ins and outs of helicopter maintenance, over the Christmas holiday when he thought he had come down with pneumonia.

Instead, it was discovered he had a pulmonary embolism, or blood clots in his lungs. He was airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he has been having weekly treatments ever since. That included a surgery in July to remove tumors throughout his body, though more have been found.

The family took him to the hospital Dec. 30. He was diagnosed in February, though he earlier learned he likely had cancer, just not the type.

“It was quite a blow, because their family was going through a lot,” Hahn said.

Laue’s diagnosis came after Nichols’ daughter was in a snowmobile accident and Nichols’ had back surgery.

“It was almost surreal to have all of that going on at the same time, let alone having the blow that it’s … cancer,” Hahn said. “When you have something like that in your family, you live for the moment; you live with what’s going on in your life. … It’s hard to think of the big picture.”

After the benefit, Laue will return to Mayo on Oct. 17 to check whether his chemotherapy is working.

“Everybody is always amazed at how polite and respectful he is,” Nichols said. “That’s what makes me mad. He’s just such a good kid. And, it’s like where does this come from?”

Crippes, Christinia. “Benefit planned for Iowa Guard member diagnosed with rare cancer.” Globe Gazette, October 10, 2017. https://globegazette.com/news/iowa/benefit-planned-for-iowa-guard-member-diagnosed-with-rare-cancer/article_60d7b56b-a921-5ae6-86c9-3948f1a39180.html.

Multimedia

“On Assignment with Anelia: A Tender Tribute: Couple’s love triumphs over death.” YouTube video, 12:59, “On Assignment with Anelia,” April 29, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brPgDvt2_BY.

Social Networking

Twitter

The Panther family is thinking of the friends and loved ones of Tristin Laue, who lost his battle to cancer over the weekend.

https://bddy.me/2ZKMrZv

University of Northern Iowa. Twitter Post. May 1, 2019, 1:11 PM. https://twitter.com/northerniowa/status/1123681264081481734.