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Obituaries » Thomas F. Lavan

Thomas F. Lavan

January 4, 2021

U.S. Veteran


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Thomas F. Lavan

January 4, 2021

Thomas F. Lavan, 85, of Wilkes-Barre Twp., passed away on Monday, January 4, 2021 with his family by his side. He was a loving, kind and gentle husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Born in Wilkes-Barre Twp. on December 2, 1935, he was the son of the late Charles and Marie (Lyall) Lavan. He graduated from Wilkes-Barre Twp. High School and attended Marywood University. Following graduation from high school, he enlisted in the US Navy stationed in Fort Meade, Nevada participating in the atomic bomb testing.

Tom was employed by the PA Department of Corrections for 35 years, starting his career at SCI Dallas as a Correctional Officer, transferring to SCI Retreat and finishing his career as Superintendent at SCI Dallas. He was a mentor for so many throughout his career.

In his early years, he was a coach manager of St. Joseph’s Youth League in Wilkes-Barre Twp. giving of his time and talent for so many young people.

Tom was an avid Penn State football and wrestling fan and could be found at Beaver Stadium most Saturdays in the fall enjoying his time with family and friends.

He was so proud of his Irish heritage and love to share stories and information about his ancestry.

Tom was a former member of St. Joseph’s Monastery, Wilkes-Barre Twp. and a current member of St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre. He was a member and past officer of the American Legion Post 815, Wilkes-Barre Twp. where he enjoyed the camaraderie of his many friends.

He loved attending and supporting his grandson at his sporting and school events. Jimmy could always count on “Pop” being there.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Karen Lavan Bokelman (2010); brothers, John Lavan Sr., Charles Lavan, Gerald Lavan, James Lavan, and William Lavan Sr.; sisters, Mary Dugan, Regina Dotzel; sisters-in-law, Ella Lavan and Madeline Lavan; brother-in-law, Fred Dotzel.

Tom is survived by his wife of 61 years, the former Marilyn Stavish; son, Thomas J. Lavan and his wife, Patricia; grandson, James (Jimmy) Lavan; sister, Margaret (Peggy) Krutski and sisters-in-law, Mary Ann Lavan, Anna Mae Lavan, Jane Lavan, Jeannie Frost, Janet Yatassaye; brother-in-law, Stanley Stavish.

The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers at Geisinger Wyoming Valley for all the care and compassion they showed in caring for Tom in his final days.

Family and Friends may call on Thursday, January 7th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Nat & Gawlas Funeral Home, 89 Park Avenue, Wilkes-Barre. Those attending visitation must wear a mask and abide by the state social distancing guidelines.

Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, a private Mass of Christian Burial for the family will be held in St. Nicholas Church.  Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Tom’s name to St. Mary Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, 3529 Saint Mary’s Road, Wapwallopen, PA 18660 and/or St. Jude Parish, Church Building Fund, 420 S. Mountain Blvd, Mountain Top, PA  18707.


Condolences may be sent by visiting Tom’s obituary at www.natandgawlas.com.