Lonnie Mae Edith Garrett-Vansant, born July 3, 1936 to Mary Elizabeth Saunders-Garrett and Lon Garrett in Glendaniels, West Virginia. She was the oldest of nine children. Lonnie was saved and received the Holy Spirit at the age of nine. She had a strong faith in the Lord that carried her through many trials and tribulations. She was a prayer warrior, studied and read her bible daily. Lonnie graduated from Elliott High School May 26, 1955 and moved to Dayton, Ohio the next day.
Lonnie married John Henry Vansant October 29, 1955. From that union were born Marita L. Vansant-Stevens, Johnny B. Vansant and Stephanie R. Vansant-Lindsay (Keith). Lonnie adopted LaKiesha R. Walker-Goins (Altonie) and she raised her grandson, Brandon K. Lindsay.
Lonnie was one of the first African-American employees at Kettering Memorial Hospital. After leaving work, she would make homemade lunches for students at Whittier Elementary School. Later, she was employed at Good Samaritan Hospital in the Neonatal Unit. Her last place of employment was Children’s Medical Center where she retired as a unit secretary due to medical issues.
Lonnie was ordained as an Evangelist under the Hebrew Pentecostal denomination and spread God's word everywhere she went and to anyone with an ear to listen. She was an active member of the Innerwest City of Dayton Priority Board and hosted community events in her own backyard. She had an open heart and opened her home to anyone in need. Lonnie took into her home David Garvin, a young man from her neighborhood whom she mothered and they become lifelong friend. She met Thomas Siafa when he first arrived in this country from Liberia and embraced him as a son. Lonnie had her own way of doing things. Before the Black Lives Matter movement, Lonnie was engaged in mediating disputes between young black men and the police. She never met a stranger, only a person who would soon be her friend.
Lonnie believed in preserving the earth. She made sure that everyone around recycled. She was a true animal lover at heart. Her dog Hailie never left her side through her declining health. Feeding and birdwatching was her greatest pleasure in her later years when she was unable to do anything else. She enjoyed working in her yard. And Lonnie Mae had a serious sweet tooth for anything chocolate, especially turtles. When asked what her greatest accomplishments were, she replied “my children.”
Lonnie is preceded in death by her parents; spouse, John Vansant; sisters, Lina Marie Garrett, Mary Alsup; brothers, Eugene “Bum Bum” Mallory, Steve Mallory, Tyrone Mallory and Timothy Mallory; granddaughter, Sarah B. Carter and niece, Arvena Montague. She leaves to cherish her memory her children; sisters, Joyce Montague and Phyllis Moore; grandchildren, Chataun Vance, Erin Stevens, Shawnetta Ferguson, Lashawndara Vansant, Blake Stevens and Allen Vansant; great grandchildren, Isaiah Cater, Quintin Clemons Jr., Mar'Quaysha Vansant, Barasia Vansant, Xavier Goins, Shaniya Vansant and Amari Goins; a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, family and friends.
Funeral service will be held 11 am Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc., 2107 N. Gettysburg Ave. Rev. Dr. Candy Hardy officiating. Visitation 9 am at the funeral home until time of service. Family will receive friends one hour prior to service. Interment West Memory Gardens.