Dr. Lanny E. Foss passed away peacefully on Feb. 25, 2021, in Metairie, Louisiana, at the age of 78. Dr. Foss was born in Chehalis, Washington, on Oct. 16,1942, to Lester (Sr.) and Lillian Foss. Lanny had five siblings who have been close friends and companions throughout his life. He was preceded in death by his parents Lester (Sr.) and Lillian, three siblings: LeRoy Foss, Terry Foss and Lin LaTrajet, his grandson Lester Gauthier; and his first wife and mother of his five daughters, Linda Hannick.
He is survived by his adoring wife of over 31 years, Jean Foss, his loving daughters: Beth Foss, Cindy Williams, Lisa Foss (Rossano Passerella), Leah Foss and Kriss Foss (John Jackson), and siblings Lester Foss Jr. (Ruth) and Larry Foss (Janice) of Hoquiam and Montesano, Washington.
In 1989, Lanny married the love of his life, Jean Westrick, and became the proud step-father of her children: Bryan Benbow (Penny), Cynthia Weakley (Matthew) and Danica Denny (Michael).
Through these eight children, Lanny had 13 grandchildren: Sophia Foss, Lester Gauthier, Devin Hernandez, Melissa Gauthier (Matthew Eads), Kaitlyn Morton (Tony), Taylor Weakley, Kayleigh Denny, Sabrina Pirzada, Madison Weakley, Camille Denny, Colin Benbow, Everett Denny and Lillian Price. He also had four great-grandchildren: Charity Morton, Marlaina Eads, Addison Morton and Lilliana Morton.
Lanny’s younger years provided him with life lessons, which he never forgot. Growing up on a working farm, he milked the cows before walking to school, tossed many a hay bale and read at every opportunity. The family grew the greater part of their food, from chickens and their eggs to steer and vegetables. He and his siblings learned the value of hard work, personal responsibility and teamwork.
Lanny had a lifelong love of learning, which he passed on to his children and grandchildren. As a youth, he read voraciously. When he had finished reading all the books in his home, he started in on the largest of them all — the dictionary. To hear him tell it, he read it, and learned from it, from cover to cover. Lanny was an impassioned reader and learner from an early age. His love of learning led him to earn his bachelor of science degree and, in 1975, his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Washington. Lanny began his postdoctoral work at the University of Iowa and, in 1977, accepted a faculty position teaching pharmaceutical chemistry at Xavier University College of Pharmacy in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Once he was a full professor of various chemistry and nutrition classes, he was able to harness his love of learning into a very effective teaching style. He remained at Xavier for more than 30 years as a professor and then Assistant Dean for Program Assessment in the College of Pharmacy. During his tenure at Xavier he developed many innovative teaching methods. Always striving to improve his craft, Lanny continued his own education through courses at Loyola University and became an early proponent of computer-based learning. His love of teaching was shown in the appreciation of his students, who named him Outstanding Professor many times.
In 2005, Lanny and Jean moved to Grundy, Virginia, where he worked as Dean of the Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Oakwood, Virginia. He retired from that position in 2008 and returned to Metairie, Louisiana. He then consulted with multiple schools across the country in establishing their colleges of pharmacy, and retired fully in 2010.
Since his first grandchild, Sophia, was born more than 30 years ago, he loved taking his beloved grandchildren to the bookstore, selecting and purchasing stacks of books, and then reading them to his younger grandchildren. Smiles could be found by all!
Lanny will be missed by his family and friends for his easy smile, dry sense of humor and striking blue eyes. Friends and family alike will miss his love of inventive cooking. Every dish was loaded with vegetables. His children had many favorites of their own including his beer beef stew, shepard’s pie, beef stroganoff, rhubarb pies and, of course, the sweet potato casserole.
Lanny will be remembered in family ceremonies in Metairie, Louisiana with interment in Montesano, Washington, next to his beloved parents, on April 12, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Xavier University College of Pharmacy (https://giving.xula.edu/), your local SPCA or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (https://afsp.org/) in honor of his grandson, Lester Gauthier.