June 2, 1942 - August 2, 2018
Willard S. LaVan Sr. was born on June 2, 1942 to the late Clemos and Odile LaVan Sr. He was baptized catholic as a baby and grew up serving as an altar boy. He was a graduate of Katie B. Thomas High School in Elton, LA. Willard married his high school sweetheart, the love of his life, the late Geraldine LaVan. To this union four children were born, Willard Jr., Willard III, Veronica, and Mark. A native of Elton, LA, he enlisted in the United States Air Force right after high school and was honorably discharged in June of 1964. He traveled and lived in many places such as Alaska, Taiwan, Japan, and many more of which he loved sharing memories and stories about while sitting on his porch.
After his military service he moved back to Louisiana and began working at Firestone Rubber Plant, after working for the plant for several years he decided to attend McNeese State University. Willard played an active role in the life of his children as a baseball, football, and basketball coach and later as an umpire and referee at many games and fields, including St. Henry’s baseball field. Later he worked and retired from Calcasieu Parish School Board as a warehouse supervisor. After retirement you could find Willard enjoying his life by spending lots of time in the country raising animals and farming with his son Willard in Iowa. Although he was known for being a bit stern and never letting anyone get over on him, he was a loving family man who adored his entire family.
His family was the focus of his life. He was proud of each and every one of them and always let them know it. He was an old fashioned man who believed children should listen and adults should be respected. He really never wanted his children and grandchildren to leave home. He would have built an apartment complex in his back yard just to have everyone there, with him, together. With his warm smile, compassionate heart, his giving sprit, and a hearty laugh, he always offered his family Godly advice, always doing his part to try and guide his family in the right direction. He was a man who loved God and used scripture when he spoke to his family to help guide them.
Willord was never ashamed to speak the word to anyone! As a matter of fact he would challenge people to prove him, by using the bible to find the facts. He always won! Days before he transitioned from this earth, he told his children that he knew when his body would no longer support his spirit, he knew EXACTLY where he was going, where he would be and in who’s presence he would be in! He stated, “I got this!” He was a member of Cursillo #81 and a member of St. Henry’s Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clemos and Odile LaVan, Sr., his wife of 53 years, Geraldine LaVan, two sons, Willard LaVan Jr. and Mark LaVan; six brothers, Clifton LaVan, Raymond LaVan, Rafield LaVan Sr., Michael LaVan Sr., Clemos LaVan Jr., O’Neal LaVan, and one sister, Annette Durosseau.
He leaves to cherish his life, love, laughter, and legacy son, Willard LaVan III (Keisha), daughter, Veronica Goodly (John) both of Lake Charles, LA; godson, Raphael Durosseau Jr. of Tacoma, WA; sister-in-law, Alice LaVan of Eunice, LA; first cousin, Vernell
Arceneaux Joseph of Atlanta GA, along with nine grandchildren; Daniele Fradieu (Michael Jr.), Joshua LaVan, Marcus Talbert, Jasmine Garrette (Cornel), Jonathan Druilhet (Stephanie), Jarmal Druilhet (Shandora), Nicola LaVan, Delissa Savoy (DeJon), Cameron LaVan and ten great-grandchildren; Nolan James Mitchell, Jayden Lee Garrette, Dia’Monique Bazile, Sania Fradieu, Aniyah LaVan, Michael Fradieu III, Joshua LaVan Jr., Nadia Fradieu, Jonathan Druilhet Jr., and Adalie Blair Druilhet; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. His nephews, whom he always called Sherman, was ALWAYS there for and with him every step of his journey. There were also special friends that were like sons to him, Charles Avery Sr., Joe Austin, Donald Hanchette, and Carl Saner, and special friend that was like a brother to him, Mr. Clarence Arceneaux. His memory will continue on within his family and friends.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 10:40 AM at Fondel Memorial Chapel, 832 N. Lyons St, Lake Charles, LA, 70601. Funeral will be held on Thursday, August 9, 2018, at 11:00 AM at Saint Henry Catholic Church. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery under the direction of Fondel Memorial Chapel.