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Mr. Joseph Franklin Lanning Jr.

Mr. Joseph Franklin Lanning Jr.
  • February 24, 1927 - December 12, 2017
  • Long Beach, California
  • A fitting tribute for Coach Lanning is being planned and will be a part of the Long Beach City College Track and Field Program. Any donations should be sent to the LBCC Foundation with a notation that it is to honor Joe Lanning.
  • LBCC Foundation
    4900 E. Conant St.
    Long Beach, CA 90808
  • Donations to benefit the church that meant so much to Joe and Jean are greatly appreciated.
  • Grace First Presbyterian Church
    3955 N. Studebaker Road
    Long Beach,, CA 90808

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Memories & Candles

“I was a student of Mr. Lanning's in the 1970s. I was in one of his Algebra classes and he made math simple so you could understand. I enjoyed it...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Janice Ellis - Huntington Beach, CA

“I'm very sad to hear the passing of this wonderful human being. I was a student \ athlete of his in 1980-81. His coaching led us to state team titles...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Bernie Holloway - Stockton, CA

“Joe I miss your quick wit, your humor and your kindness. I will miss you and I believe you are in a peaceful place. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Nancy Roberts


Joseph Franklin Lanning Jr., 90, born on February 24, 1927, in Inglewood, California, passed away December 12, 2017. He resided in Long Beach, California at the time of his passing. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Cypress, California.

Coach Lanning was a legend in the world of sports in Long Beach. He and his wife Jean moved to Long Beach in 1955 when he was hired as the head coach of Track and Field at Long Beach City College. He served as head coach until 1971 and mentored future Olympians, state champions, conference record holders and countless athletes that proudly competed for LBCC. He continued to coach, even after he retired, serving as assistant coach at LBCC and at the University of Southern California. His athletes remember him as an inspiring role model who cared deeply about developing strong, capable and compassionate human beings as well as winners and champions. He thought of his athletes as family and treated them as family members. Ask any athlete who was on one of his teams and they will have a story about enjoying dinner at the Lanning house.

In addition to coaching Track and Field, Joe was proud of his 4 years as an assistant football coach at LBCC. He served as the end coach for the perfect 10-0 season, winning a Jr. Rose Bowl and national championship in 1960. His years at LBCC, regardless of the sport, provided lifelong friendships with other coaches and the countless athletes who carried on the Viking spirit. Numerous coaches and teachers were inspired to become educators because of Joe's influence.

Joe was a devoted family man. He adored his wife and was extremely proud to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in August of 2017. Their marriage and true partnership over the years has been a source of inspiration for all. He is survived by 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.

The family would like to extend special gratitude to the caregivers who have worked, in the last few years, to tend to his every need. They learned a great deal about track and field, swing music from the 40's and old western movies. Their love and friendship eased his passing and made him smile each day.

A fitting tribute for Coach Lanning is being planned and will be a part of the Long Beach City College Track and Field Program. Donations can be sent to the LBCC Foundation with a notation that it is to honor Joe Lanning. Joe and Jean 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. Donations to the church are gratefully received.

There will be a simple graveside service, for family and caregivers, on Thursday, December 28 at 12:30 PM. Arrangements are under the direction of Forest Lawn, Cypress, California.

Family and friends are planning a double memorial service, celebrating the lives of both Joe and Jean. To accommodate travel plans and to ensure that all can attend, this formal memorial service will be held in August 2018.