Our precious mother, Lan Lovan passed away on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 after her long battle with diabetes and kidney failure. She devoted her life to her children, grandchildren, great-granchildren, siblings and numerous nieces and nephews.

Lan was born on June 5, 1942 in Son La, Vietnam and was the oldest of eleven children. She lived a life full of adversity and challenges but also a wonderful life blessed with many family and friends who loved and adored her. Towards the end of the French Indochina War in 1954, she and her family fled to Vientiane,Laos in order to escape political persecution. There, she met and married her soulmate, Son, and began a new life raising seven children. Although she had no formal education, she was a talented cook and seamstress and was able to leverage those skills to help provide for her family in Laos. Lan was a very hard worker and operated a pho noodle stand outside her home every morning prior to going to work at her full-time job as a housekeeper, nanny, and cook for an American military family during the Vietnam war.

After the end of the Vietnam war, Lan and her family were once again displaced from their homeland and forced to flee to a refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand where her family lived for almost two years before they were sponsored by the state of Iowa to become permanent residents of the United States. Once again, Lan was forced to make a make a new life for her family in a foreign country. It was in Keokuk, Iowa where she became a stay at home mom, but that did not last long due to Lan’s entrepreneurial spirit and her longing for making a financial contribution to the family. This led to Lan leveraging her cooking skills by making her famous meatballs, yaw, beef jerky, jaew bong, and Taidam sausages. This quickly became a home business she developed where the Taidam and Lao community came to know and depend on her food for familiarity and taste that brought childhood memories of their home country.

Lan is survived by five children, Hang (Ngouane) Lovan, Vilay (Choi) Lovan, Silavanh (Thong) Lovan, Douangmala (Marek) Sobieszkoda, and Vanna (Troy) Meyer; five granddaughters (Katy, Melissa, Jacklyn, Abby, Kylie), eight grandsons (Michael, Matthew, Kevin, Steven, Shawn, Kyle, Trevor, Wyatt); four great-granddaughters (Avery, Samira, Shaiya, Ailani); one sister, Nga (Hoi) Tran; six brothers, Phong (Somsy) Lovan; Nokeo (Niem) Lovan, Keo (Nhoui) Khounlo, Bounkham (Niravone ) Khounlo, Somphet (Nang) Khounlo, and Stan (Ashley) Lovan; one sister-in-law, Bach Lovan; 30 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Son Lovan; parents, Truc and Thich Lovan; son, Kham Lovan; daughter, Saiphone Lovan; and brother, Phoung Lovan.

Funeral and cremation services were held for family only on Thursday, November 26, 2020. A memorial and burial service will held in 2021 where her extended family and friends can safely attend the celebration of her life.

Service Details

Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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