Donna Jean LaVanway
1933 - 2021
Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
2650 Niles Rd
Saint Joseph, MI

Donna Jean LaVanway, 88, of Bridgman passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at her home in the arms of her son, James.

A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Starks and Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Visitation will be one hour prior, from 10-11 a.m. also at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at

Donna was born on Oct. 7, 1933, in Kalamazoo to the late Leonard and Ruth Richardson.

Donna did not miss one day of school in her K-12 school career. She was valedictorian of Watervliet High School.

On May 16, 1953, she married Carl LaVanway Jr. She was a wonderful mother to five children and would do anything for her family. Donna was very active with her children as a Cub Scout Leader. She traveled all across the country with her husband.

Her hobbies included crocheting, knitting, playing board games, square dancing, playing piano, singing in the choir and playing cards until the sun came up. Donna loved spending time with her family and friends. She was a caring and loving mother to her children, grandma to her grandkids and Nana to her great-grandkids.

Donna is survived by her siblings: Bud (Icy) Richardson, Babe Otte; children: James (Vonnie) LaVanway, Sandra (Richard) Wiley, Gary LaVanway, Randy (Cindy) LaVanway and Carla (Dennis) Ricketts; grandchildren: Valarie (Ryan) Schebel, Jake (Julie) LaVanway, Jason (Nikki) Wiley, Tracy (Delbert) Denkins, Justin LaVanway, Kristi LaVanway, Melissa (Rob) Kennedy, Jamie (Aaron) Tessaro, and Joshua Ricketts; nineteen great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandson, James.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 63 years; her brother, Bob; and granddaughter, Jessica.

Published by The Herald-Palladium on Nov. 29, 2021.
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10:00a.m. - 11:00a.m.
Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
2650 Niles Rd, Saint Joseph, MI
Celebration of Life
Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
2650 Niles Rd, Saint Joseph, MI
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Starks & Menchinger Chapel - Saint Joseph
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