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A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date

 Jean Ellen (Earl) Lau, of Suffern, NY “graduated” into heaven on February 4, 2021 at the age of 71, in Richmond, VA. Jeannie was born in Suffern, NY. Her father, John Earl, was in the Air Force and she spent her childhood relocating around the country and even spent her fourth grade in England. Jeannie always remembered fondly her time in England and would frequently recount a story about a speeding taxi driver that was charged with delivering her and her sister, Dorothy, to school.  After confessing the speeding incident to their father, he quickly had a chat with the errant driver and no speeding would ever happen again.


Jeannie’s mother, Cecelia’s, family was from The Ukraine and shared some of this heritage with her children.  Jeannie particularly loved “deruny”, Ukrainian potato pancakes!


Jeannie’s family settled in DeLand, FL in the 1960’s.  She was in high school at the time and attended DeLand High School.  Jeannie was an instant favorite at DHS.  By her senior year, she was captain of the cheerleading squad, Recording Secretary of Civinettes, NHS, Class Treasurer, on the yearbook staff, and voted “Best All Around” for the graduating class of 1967.  She was dubbed “The Sunshine Girl” for bringing joy to all those around her.  She fulfilled that role throughout her life, bringing sunshine and light to all those she encountered.


After high school, Jeannie attended Daytona Beach Community College.


Jeannie married Jeffrey Lau, of Dayton OH, on August 31, 1968 in DeLand, FL. They spent their first year of marriage in Dayton, OH but then returned to DeLand where they shared many years of marriage.  Jeannie and Jeff had two children; Greta born in 1973 and Travis born in 1975.  Jeannie and Jeff divorced in 2004 after 35 years of marriage.  They remained friends and stayed close throughout Jeannie’s life.


She stayed home with Greta and Travis for their early childhood years. She later went back to work as a dental assistant, bringing her cheerful disposition with her.  She transitioned into front desk work and ultimately became an office manager.  Jeannie’s employers always raved about her being the perfect employee, “responsible and dedicated with the most pleasant disposition.”  Jeannie always went above and beyond in every aspect of her life.


Personal recreations and pastimes were no exception to her desire to excel. Jeannie, along with Jeff, Greta and Travis took up Tae Kwon Do in early 1984.  The entire family enjoyed this activity several nights a week.  They received their black belts, together as a family, in the fall of 1986.


Jeannie also loved the Lord and being a member of her local church.  She attended Stetson Baptist Church in DeLand, FL where she was also a Sunday school teacher of 3rd graders for several years.  Jeannie always found a local church community to join whenever she moved.  She loved to sing in the choir, attend Bible Study and participate in as many church functions as was humanly possible. sharing God’s love with all those around her.


Jeannie spent the last several years of her life as a resident of Mennowood Retirement Community in Newport News, VA where she served as a resident ambassador and enjoyed participating in all of the daily activities.  Greta told Jeannie that living at Mennowood would be like living in the dorms, except “no homework!”  As a resident ambassador she repeated this story without fail to prospective residents, putting her own twist on it.  In her words, “My daughter told me living here would be like living in the dorm.  She was right! And Praise God, it’s a Christian dorm!” She loved the Mennowood family and thanked her daughter daily for allowing her to live there.  Jeannie’s family would like to share their deep appreciation for all the love and support given to Jeannie and the family by the entire Mennowood staff.  Being a part of the Mennowood family has blessed them all beyond mention.  


Jeannie was preceded in death by her parents, John Gordon Earl, Sr. of Palisade Township, NJ (1989) and Cecelia Eleanor (Topnick) Earl of Mahwah, NJ (1982); her older sister, Dorothy (Earl) Dawson-Bailey of Suffern, NY (2011), her sister-in-law Kathie Shephard of Lansing, MI (2019.)


 She is survived by her daughter, Greta Vander Vennet (Keith) of Newport News, VA; son, Travis Lau of DeLand, FL; her ex-husband, Jeff Lau of DeLand, FL; brother, John Gordon Earl, Jr. of New Port Richey, FL; sister, Linda Totton (Jim) of Ft. Pierce, FL, brother, Ronald Earl (Jeanne) of Hopewell Junction, NY; her grandchildren: Claire, Grace, and Kenneth Vander Vennet of Newport News, VA as well as several beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Mennowood Foundation 13030 Warwick Blvd. Newport News, VA 23602. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.





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#4 Suzy Rudolph 2021-02-14 19:54
Jeannie was truly one of the sweetest, most caring and loving persons I have ever had the privledge of being friends. I have many lovely memories of Jeannie and
her family. I was so honored by the many strangers who thought we were sisters. Love & prayers to the family. Suzy Rudolph
#3 Dee S. 2021-02-12 11:46
May God continue to support and strengthen family and friends.
#2 Diana Llovio 2021-02-09 21:15
What a wonderful story of Jeannie. She let her LIGHT SHINE in her life. The Gates of Heaven were surely opened wide for her approach .Praise God for the SONSHINE in her smile . Beautiful memories of a truly beautiful person.
#1 Guest 2021-02-07 09:25
Jeanne was a great Lady. What I remember most about her in HS, was she was always smiling and full of energy. She was well liked and had no known enemies. She will be remembered as a kind compassionate lady that put God first in her life. She loved her family and friends & will be greatly missed.

Ron Padgett.
Veronica Weymouth

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