The Obituary for Ms. JoAnne Herren French Blanks (Randolph County)


The Angel came and lovingly carried 86-year-old JoAnne Herren French Blanks to her heavenly home on March 16, 2020.

Celebrating her arrival into Heaven were her precious Savior, Jesus Christ; her parents, Grover and Elsie Herren; her husband and father of their three daughters, DeWitt French; her brother, Billy Herren; niece Laurel Herren; her grandparents, Georgia and Jefferson Newton Crawford; Ada and Gunge Herren; special cousin, Sheila Herren Fincher; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

JoAnne left behind her daughters, The French Sisters, whom she and her mother taught to sing: Deborah French Traylor (Joe Bob) of Woodland, AL., Delores French Rush (Dale) of Lineville, AL., and Donna French Maner (Sonny) of Carrollton, GA.; fifteen grandchildren: Josh Traylor, Amber Traylor, Kenneth (Christi) Rush, Heather (Joel) Nash, Kristina Rush, Heath (Lisa) Brown, Haley (Clay) Lovelady, Micah (Scott) Nelson and Carla (Billy) Duncan; nineteen great grandchildren: Elijah Traylor, Austin Rush, Dalton Rush, Matthew (Gracie) Edge USCG Seaman, Madison Edge USCG Seaman, Teron (Jake) Surrett, Gaven Bell, Callen Brown, Kyla Brown, Landis Brown, Braxton Lovelady, Chloee Lovelady, Chalee Lovelady, Lidiah Lovelady, Alyvia Lovelady, Oliver Nelson and Sydney Rose Duncan. JoAnne also left behind her brother Paul (Linda) Herren; nieces: Lisa Herren and Suzanne (Mark) Head; nephews: Mark (Pieper) Herren, Billy Mack (Dannielle) Herren, Grover Davis Herren; great niece: Ansleigh Head; great nephews: Drew (Kristin) Wilson, Cooper Head and Hudson Hawk Herren; and great great nephew: Blanton Wilson.

Ms. JoAnne was affectionately known as “The Rose Lady”. Many people remember her compassion as she arrived on their doorsteps with a bouquet of roses for them- to the ones of you who returned her kindness, we thank you. She was Valedictorian of the Woodland High School Class of 1951. She dearly loved each of her classmates and class reunions until she was no longer able to attend due to the progression of her Parkinson’s Disease. She was a master seamstress and made her girls’ clothes. She was a receptionist for several years at Woodland High School as well as a substitute teacher. She loved planting trees to beautify her hometown, Woodland, Alabama. She was employed for many years by Lamar Plunkett Manufacturing Company both in Bowdon, Georgia and Woodland, Alabama. She dearly enjoyed the years she spent as Dr. Gerald Everett’s receptionist, first in Woodland, Alabama and then in Roanoke, Alabama.

JoAnne’s first love was Jesus Christ. She then extended that love to her family, extended family and friends. She enjoyed Nascar and the Alabama Crimson Tide. She spent many miles and hours traveling with her daughters to sing gospel music in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and local revivals in the summers. She had also received her certified nursing assistant degree just before she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. She LOVED Elvis Presley and enjoyed his singing and movies all her life-even until her earthly life was gone.

Ms. JoAnne, as all who were not family called her, had so many compassionate and loving caregivers. “I would be attending to needs down the hall and would hear the sweetest, most beautiful singing and would always follow the sound to find a beautiful smiling lady- Ms. JoAnne”, stated one of her caregivers.

Celebration of life will be held at Harmony Congregational Methodist Church at Newell, Alabama, with Benefield Funeral Home of Wedowee, AL in charge of arrangements.

Joe Bob Traylor, Clay Lovelady and Donna Maner will speak at the service. Music will be provided by family.

The family will receive visitors from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the funeral home. Ms. JoAnne will be available for viewing one hour before the service.

Service will begin at 3:00 PM on Thursday, March 19, 2020. Pall bearers will be sons-in-law, grandsons, grandsons-in-law, great grandson-in -law and special sons, Brian and Chris Williams. She will lay to rest with her parents and her brother in the Harmony Cemetery.

Ms. JoAnne requested that donations be made to her hometown, Woodland, Alabama, to be used for town beautification so that nature’s beauty could continue.

Please send donations to First Bank of Alabama, Woodland Branch c/o Woodland Area Civic Club Beautification Committee.

Thank you and God bless!!!