Funeral Details


Funeral Details

Florence Lavan

December 25, 1922 - October 4, 2019


Date and Time

Friday, October 11, 2019 at 10:00 AM


Beth Emet The Free Synagogue
1224 West Dempster Street
Evanston, Illinois 60202


Rabbi Amy Memis-Foler
Beth Emet The Free Synagogue


Memorial Park Cemetery
9900 Gross Point Road
Skokie, Illinois 60076
Get Directions


Lavan Residence
947 Ridge Court
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Get Directions

Friday upon return from the cemetery until sundown
The family also welcomes visitors
Saturday from 10 AM to 2PM

Send Shiva

Memorial Contributions

Beth Emet the Free Synagogue
1224 Dempster Street
Evanston, Illinois 60202
The Cooper Union
30 Cooper Square
New York, New York 10003


Florence Popp Lavan, 96, of Evanston, Illinois, beloved wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and friend, died on Friday, October 4, 2019 after a short illness.Services will be held Friday, October 11, 2019 at 10:00 am at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, 1224 West Dempster Street, Evanston, Illinois. The interment will be at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie. Shiva will follow at the Lavan family home at 947 Ridge Court, Evanston until sundown. The family will also welcome visitors on Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Florence's name may be made to Beth Emet the Free Synagogue or The Cooper Union. Florence was born on Christmas day in 1922 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Her mother was an Austrian cook, seamstress, and intellectual; her father a German painter. Florence and her brother both studied art in New York City, Florence at The Cooper Union. She lived on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village in the 1940s and 1950s and earned a very good living painting china lamps and vases.

Florence became and remained a beloved children's book illustrator. She was also a modern dancer and spent a summer studying at Jacob's Pillow in Massachusetts, founded by the modern dance pioneer, Ted Shawn. During World War II, she and a girlfriend spent another summer hitchhiking across the US as part of the Women's Land Army to help pick crops, working their way from New York to Washington State. After the war, Florence traveled extensively in Europe, as well as in Mexico and Egypt. Florence met her husband-to-be, Zalman Lavan--who had emigrated from Israel--when he was an engineering student at Brooklyn Polytechnic. They married in 1957. Together they moved to Chicago; there, at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Zalman received his PhD and went on to become full professor. Florence and Zalman had three boys, Joel in 1958, Ethan in 1960, and David in 1963. The family lived in Evanston, but spent sabbatical leaves in Israel and France and traveled extensively, including trips to China, Japan, Thailand, India, and Nigeria.Florence had the greatest gift for friendship; her charm surrounded her with friends old and new. As she grew oldr, she delightfully solved the problem of forgetting names by calling everyone "Babe." Florence is preceded in death by her eldest son Joel, in 1978, and her husband Zalman, in 2009. She leaves behind two sons: Ethan (Lisa Gurr) and David (Kelly Carney); and four grandchildren: Jonathan, Ruth, Alice and Natalia. We will all miss her terribly.


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