The Life of JoAnne M. Lavanant

JoAnne M. (Franzel) Lavanant, 60, of Allentown, formerly of Trenton, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 27, 2019 in her residence, surrounded by her family. Born in Detroit, MI, JoAnne was a daughter of the late Eugene K. and Sylvia P. (Jenerou) Franzel. She was a member of Saint Ann’s R.C. Church, Emmaus, and was employed by Sanofi Pharmaceutical Company. JoAnne also worked as a Registered Nurse in the NICU at University Hospital in Michigan for many years.

She was a graduate of Trenton High School, Trenton, MI, Wayne County Community College and Davenport University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master’s in Business Administration degrees. JoAnne had a strong love for animals, especially dogs. She adored her grandchildren and will be deeply missed by her entire family.

JoAnne is survived by her husband, Robert Lavanant; five children, Michael James Reifsnider, Southgate, MI, Ryan Christian-Faith Reifsnider, Allentown, PA, Mark Eugene Reifsnider, husband of Xochil Prez, Taylor, MI, Lauren Ashleigh (Reifsnider), wife of Brandon Yenser, Fleetwood, PA, and Christopher John Sorich, Allentown, PA; 10 grandchildren, Loren, Avery, Connor, Trystan, Owen, Dominic, Jessika, Hayden, Caleb and Beckett; two sisters, Judy Gregg and Sheryl Garton; two brothers, Terry Franzel and Larry Franzel; and her four-legged companion, Shelby.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in Saint Ann’s R.C. Church, 415 S. 6th Street, Emmaus, with Reverend Msgr. Edward J. Coyle, Celebrant.

Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., 333 Greenwich Street, Kutztown, PA, and again on Monday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in the church.

Services will continue on Friday, June 7, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. at Michigan Memorial Funeral Home Chapel, 30895 W. Huron River Drive, Flat Rock, Michigan, with a visitation from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. JoAnne will be taken by Horse-Drawn Carriage to Michigan Memorial Park for interment.

The family requests contributions be made in JoAnne’s memory to The ASPCA, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090-6929 or online at OR Pancreatic Cancer Action Network for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or online at

Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements in Pennsylvania. Memories and condolences may be recorded at

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Many memories

I had the honor of calling Joanne friend for many years.  We met in college and immediately hit it off.  We traveled together and had many adventures and side aching laughter over the years.  She was a wonderful, caring mom and a kind hearted and trusting friend.  Over the years I had visited often.  One of our favorite places to visit was Byrd in Hand...we went often and managed to get lost east time we went.  It never mattered because we had such fun together.  Thank you for the laughter, special moments and being my friend.  I will miss you greatly but know you will be watching over everyone the same way as you did when you were here.

Posted by Andrea G on 05/29/2019

Thank you

My dear Joanne, my "soul" I will miss you. I cannot even begin to find the words to express what your friendship brought into my life. From the day we met at work, we bonded and it just grew stronger over the last 8 years. You were my "safe" person, who I could share all my secrets with, and know they would never be shared with another human being. From our love of dogs...the same breed even, to our love of Coach handbags, to the same style in clothes and our birthday only 2 days apart... although I admit, I was older.. by 4 years.  Your passion for your children and grandchildren and how you loved them and wanted the best for them was like a ray of sunshine always in your heart.  Although we were not alwatys able to spend alot of time together, our chats and phone calls always sufficed. You have left a footprint on my heart that no other friend can fill. You will aways be my guiding light and although you are no longer with us physically, i know you are still with us spiritually.  I am soo truly sorry you became so ill, but it is so bittersweet my friend, that you are no longer in pain and are in paradise with our Lord. For now, I will end by just thanking you and say see you again my friend.  Rest well in HIs loving arms.


Posted by Terry L on 05/30/2019