JoAnna Emma LaSane, 83, of Atlantic City, passed away peacefully on January 16, 2019. Joanna was predeceased by her loving father and mother, John Wesley and Viona Marie Foreman; sister, Isabella Sarah Thompson; and step-brother, Robert Wesley Foreman.
Joanna Emma LaSane devoted her life to the Arts and was the first African-American Woman appointed to the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. She was the Founder and Director of the Atlantic City Children's Theatre. She also served as the Drama Consultant for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Complex, Center for Early Childhood Education and the Atlantic City Board of Education. Joanna’s performing and modeling career brought her international acclaim. As a high fashion model, she toured with the Ebony Fashion Fair in 1966. She was the first Atlantic County female to model internationally and appeared in Vogue, Redbook, Look, Life, Ebony and Glamour magazines.
Joanna was the first black model to do a prime time commercial for Pepsi Cola seen coast-to-coast. Oscar winning actor, Sidney Poitier, in one of his first undertakings in preparing for his autumn debut as a Broadway director, contacted Joanna to read for a role in the humorous production "Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights.” Mrs. LaSane served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic County Cultural and Heritage Commission and the Atlantic City Arts Commission. She received numerous awards such as being listed in the Who's Who Among Black Americans, the N.J. State Senate Cultural Arts Award, inducted into the Atlantic County Women's Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the Pop Lloyd Humanitarian Award in 2005. Joanna attended the American School of Ballet in New York and the International School of Dance Under the tutelage of Katherine Dunham, Arthur Mitchell and Sevilla Fort. She also received training from Lloyd Richards, the Dean of Yale University's School of Drama.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her husband, Karlos R. LaSane, Sr.; son, Karlos R. LaSane, II (Jacqueline Peterson); grandson, Karlos R. LaSane, III (Rhonda); great-grandchildren, Rebecca Rochelle Marie LaSane and Karlos R. LaSane, IV; sister, Marihalia Jane Brandon (B.T.); step-sister, Albertha Quarteman; niece, Maria B. Watkins (John); nephews, Freddie and Donnell Holland; great nieces and nephews, Brandon, Holland and Joy Watkins and Amani Holland; and many additional beloved relatives and close friends.
In lieu of flowers, support children and young adults who have a desire to pursue a career in the Arts or Fashion. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be Private.
Arrangements entrusted to Greenidge Funeral Homes, Inc., where condolences may be left at www.greenidgefuneralhomes.com