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John Doan Van Fossen

October 3, 2012
The Marietta Times

John Doan Van Fossen, 87, died on Saturday (Sept. 29, 2012) at Lafayette General Medical Center.

He was born on Oct. 18, 1924, in Goose Run, outside of Marietta. John was a World War II veteran, who went into the Air Corps right out of Marietta High School in 1944. He became a sergeant and a flight engineer in B-24 and B-29 aircraft flying missions over the Pacific. After the war, he graduated from Marietta College with a degree in geology and later earned a master's degree in petroleum geology from the University of Cincinnati. While at Marietta College, he was a member of the varsity rowing team. John was passionate about geology and was always "coloring a map." He was active and working up until shortly before his death.

John joined The First Presbyterian Church of Lafayette in July of 1961. He served as a deacon, an elder for two terms, and was the clerk of session during his second term. He also taught the senior class. He was also an avid participant in many Lafayette Art Associations activities for many years and was an active member of that association.

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He and his wife made several overseas trips. They visited such as places as England, Holland, France, Italy, Germany and Israel, among many others. His favorite places of all to visit were Colorado and his home state of Ohio.

His parents were James and Maggie Van Fossen. His two brothers, Virgil and James, were combat veterans of the war in Europe. He had three sisters, Monad Basnett, Louella Cheeseman and Dorthy Van Fossen. After college, he worked in the oil exploration business in Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. He served on the Board of Directors for The Petroleum Club in 1968. Mr. Van Fossen will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, JoAna Brooks Van Fossen; two daughters, Elizabeth Ann Abdalla and her husband, Harold, of Lafayette and Jennifer Badalamenti and her husband, Anthony, of Katy, Texas; three grandchildren, Jasmine Marie Abdalla of Lafayette, Caroline Marie Badalamenti of Katy, Texas and Catherine Elizabeth Badalamenti of Katy, Texas; four stepchildren, Janice Marohn, Jinjer Marohn, Kaye Cantley and Jeff Cook; three nieces, Charlotte Basnett of Buckeye Lake, Ohio, Barbara Nichols of Columbus,Ohio, and Sue Newman of Atlanta, Georgia; three nephews, William Basnett of Atlanta, Georgia, Gary Van Fossen and Greg Van Fossen of Marietta. He also leaves behind a host of great-nieces and great-nephews.

Memorial contributions can be made in Mr. Van Fossen's name to Lafayette Art Association & Gallery, 1008 E. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, La. 70503 or The First Presbyterian Church, 1130 Johnston St., Lafayette, La. 70501.

View the obituary and guestbook online at

Martin & Castille-DOWNTOWN-330 St. Landry St., Lafayette, La. 70506, (337) 234-2311.



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