Joanna Lucille Davanzo, 97, of Sea Girt, New Jersey passed away on Monday, January 20, 2014. Predeceased by her loving husband, Tanner Davanzo, and her cherished daughter, Laura Lovering-Herberman, she is survived by her children, Rosemary Taylor and her husband, Noel, Thomas and his wife Kathy Jo, and her grandchildren, Joanna, David, Sarah, Alyssa, and Amanda.
Born August 1, 1916, Joanna was raised in Belleville, New Jersey along with her siblings, Victor, James, Anne, Bettina, Joseph, and Larry.
Joanna supported the War effort by working in the War Office for the United States Government, quickly advancing to high levels of clearance and responsibility within the organization. She was commended by colonels and generals for her quick thinking and independent work ethic.
An extensive world traveler, she visited the capitals of Europe on numerous occasions; her favorite destination was her homeland of Italy, where she had wonderful adventures in Rome, Florence, and Naples. Her visits to the monuments, cultural landmarks, and museums of both the Old and New Worlds fostered her lifelong passion for art, architecture, and design, and it was this same passion that birthed her career as an interior designer.
Joanna graduated from The New York School of Interior Design in August 1982 at age 66. As a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, she achieved the highest level of knowledge and accomplishment in her field. A lover of all styles from Classical French to Modern Eclectic, Joanna won numerous awards for both her residential and commercial work; of note, she was the Designer of Choice for The Mack-Cali Realty Company, working with her beloved longtime friends Angelo and John Cali.
In her later life, Joanna combined her eye for style and sharp business acumen by obtaining her realtor’s license. Partnering with the Gloria Nilson and Ocean Pointe Realty Companies, she sold properties throughout the New Jersey Shore area and advised her many clients as to design elements, furnishings, textiles, and artwork.
For all her many achievements, the central focus of Joanna’s life was her family, of which she was the grand matriarch. She was noted for her generosity towards family and friends alike; her love of sharing the arts, visual, theatrical, and otherwise; her indomitable spirit and sheer self-determination; her independence; her love of life; and her keen mind and rapier wit.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, January 27th between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home, located at 2028 Highway 35, Wall, N.J. 07719. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 28th at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catherine’s Roman Catholic Church, located at 215 Essex Avenue, Spring Lake, N.J. 07762.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made In Memory of Joanna L. Davanzo to Covenant House, Attention: Sandra Latchman, Donor Communications, 461 Eighth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10001-1810. Contributions may also be made to the Ian Cali F.O.P. Research Fund at The University of Pennsylvania, Medicine Development, Attention: Tamika Jackson, 3535 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia, P.A., 19104-9709.