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Lavonna D. Smith
Retired adult ed teacher
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Lavonna D. Smith was born in Checotah, OK on June 18, 1941. She passed away from cancer on Feb. 23, 2011 at home in Manteca, CA, with her family by her side. She was preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Glenn Smith in 2010.

Her father, Troy Sisemore, also preceded her in death. Lavonna leaves behind her mother Faye LaCoy; her daughters Lori Fatzer (Eugene) and Shelley Bothelio (Mike). She was blessed with 5 grandchildren, Jacob Fatzer, Logan Fatzer, Lindsay Bothelio, Vanessa Fatzer and Jessica Bothelio, all of Manteca, CA.

She is also survived by her sister Connie Murphy (Jim) of Castro Valley, CA; her Uncle, Ivan Ritchie of Manteca, CA, as well as many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

Lavonna lived in the Manteca/Escalon area for most of her life, starting kindergarten at Lindbergh School in Manteca, CA, and graduating from Escalon High School in 1959.  

She touched many senior citizens and their families in the Manteca area as an activity director from 1971-1982, at a local nursing home. She continued her career with seniors, being employed by the Manteca Unified School District as an adult education teacher and began working at the Manteca Senior Center until her retirement in 2005, upon which she was thrown an amazing retirement party.  She always felt so lucky to have worked in a field she truly enjoyed.  She was a tireless advocate for senior citizens and wanted all to feel welcome at the Manteca Senior Center.

Lavonna had many interests. In her younger years, she enjoyed camping, boating, traveling throughout the United States, and cooking special dinners for family and friends.  Lavonna enjoyed the internet; she loved following politics and let’s not forget Elvis! She was a lover and collector of books and spoke often of riding her bike to the Manteca Library as a young girl. Lavonna was a volunteer for a literacy program teaching adults to read. Another of her passions was genealogy which she also taught at the Senior Center. She was very creative enjoying a variety of arts and crafts, including painting, ceramics and scrapbooking. She was known for her beautiful penmanship. She loved writing and producing the annual Christmas play for the City of Manteca’s Tree Lighting ceremony.

She will be remembered as a strong and caring woman, who always tried to stand up for “what was right.” She will be missed dearly. Lavonna’s family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to those who helped and supported Lavonna throughout her illness.

Mrs. Smith’s arrangements are being handled by P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home of Manteca. At Lavonna’s request no services will be held. She will be laid to rest at a later date with her beloved husband Glenn in a private family setting at Burwood Cemetery – Escalon, Ca. An online guest book is available at In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Hospice of San Joaquin 3888 Pacific Ave. Stockton, Ca 95204 or The Manteca Historical Society 600 W. Yosemite Ave. Manteca, Ca 95336.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011