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Clara Jean Lanning
  • In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial contributions be made to the church that meant so much to Jean.
  • Grace First Presbyterian Church
    3955 N. Studebaker Road
    Long Beach, CA 90808

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“SO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS, I HOPE THESE WORDS IN THE BIBLE BOOK OF JEREMIAH 29,11,12.STAY CLOSE TO YOUR HEART TO COMFORT YOU AND THE FAMILY AS...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: NITA FRANKLIN - PORT ARTHUR, TX

“I was very lucky to have met Jean 3 years ago. The first time I met her she was very sweet and happy. She always had a positive out look on life and...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Blanca Harty - Los Alamitos, CA

“We are grateful that Jean is not in pain & is smiling down from heaven with a whole new body. May all the beautiful memories comfort the family in...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Dennis & Kathy Mann - Cypress, CA

“My sweet precious Jean! I had the privilege to meet her 6 months ago. She opened not only the doors of her house but also the doors of her heart to...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Jacqueline Guzman - Corona, CA

“Jean was my brother John's mother inlaw. I was lucky to be able to enjoy many Christmas Eve and holiday celebrations with her over the years. I...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Beverly Casey Radespiel - MD


Clara Jean Lanning, 90, born on May 27, 1927, in Texas, passed away October 1, 2017. She resided in Long Beach, California for more than 60 years with her beloved husband Joe. Jean (she didn't like the "Clara") was a treasured wife, a devoted mother and cherished grandmother. Her countless friends are saddened by her loss but can be comforted by memories of laughter and wisdom.

Jean was an accomplished artist and a dedicated educator. She taught students at all levels and was often called upon to serve as a mentor for new teachers. After many years in the classroom as a teacher and reading specialist she moved into vocational education. Her work to develop and nurture the establishment of the North Orange County Regional Occupation Program (NOCROP) was recognized by her colleagues and the community. She retired from education in 1982. Her career involved more awards and accolades than can be listed but her students, colleagues and contemporaries remember her as a consummate professional and mentor.

Jean was always an artist and treasured the painting lessons her parents provided. She was always grateful for the sacrifices her parents made and loved to share her talent and knowledge with others. Students in her painting classes left with finished oil paintings and a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Jean was as proud of their paintings as she was of her own. In retirement, she expanded her artistic visions and began to design embroidery and cross stitch. The designs began with iconic scenes of Catalina but soon expanded to national, and even international proportions.She continued expanding her catalog of designs and planned trips for her and Joe as research. Her design commemorating the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty was featured on the cover of McCalls Needlework and Crafts Magazine in 1986.

Family was always the most important thing to Jean and she treated everyone like family. She adored her husband, took pride in her children and doted on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by her husband Joe, daughter Janice Allen and son-in-law Jim, daughter Jaima Bennett and son-in-law John, son Joe III, granddaughters Jenny and Jessica, grandson J.J and his wife Kelly as well as great-grandchildren Kourtney and Grant. A legacy of dedication to family continues.

The family would like to extend special gratitude to the caregivers who have worked, in the last few years, to keep her healthy and engaged in life. She loved each of these caring women and cherished their care and friendship.

Jean and Joe were active members of the congregation at Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach. The friendships they made there were especially precious because they came later in life. Out of respect for Joe's health issues, plans for a memorial service at the church are pending. There will be a simple graveside service, for family and caregivers, on Monday, October 9 at 2:30 PM. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Cypress, California.