Joan LaVonne Oblinger

Birth Date: 
Saturday, October 12, 1935
Date of Passing: 
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

WOOSTER – Joan LaVonne (Crawford) Oblinger, 83, of Wooster passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at LifeCare Hospice in Wooster.

She was born October 12, 1935 in Elyria, Ohio to the late Richard and Ruth (Simms) Johnston.  She graduated from Elyria High School and retired from General Motors Fisher Body Division as a buyer in the purchasing department.  She married Morris “Bud” Crawford in 1955.  He preceded her in death.

Joan was an amazing woman with a kind heart and a gentle soul.  Her smile could light up a room.  She enjoyed a multi-career period as a professional model and vocalist prior to beginning a career at General Motors in Elyria in 1961.  She was a member and actress at the Black River Playhouse as well as a self-taught pianist and artist.  She was a member of various organizations, including the Ohio Business and Professional Women.

She spent the last 25 years with her first love and true soulmate, John Zboray of San Diego, California, where she made her home.  She returned to Ohio in 2017 due to declining health.

She is survived by her children, Debra Merillat of Wooster and Craig Crawford of Loudonville; grandchildren, Earnest of Elyria, Shawn of Lorain, Courtney of Philadelphia, PA, Elizabeth, Christopher and Scott of Wooster; 9 great-grandchildren and a sister, Becky Gardener of Grafton.

She was preceded in death by her parents, 8 siblings, 1 grandson and 1 great-grandson.

There will be no calling hours and a private family service will be held at a later date.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Memorial Contributions: 

Ohio's Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, OH 44691


No calling hours


Private family services will be held


I am so sorry for your loss. I am the niece of John Zboray so I spent many holidays and family events with Joan. She was loved by all of us. Such a special lady, kind, talented, and funny.
My best, Gale

We are so sorry for your loss. It is a loss for all of us who knew Joanie. I am married to John's niece Gale, and had the wonderful opportunity to spend many holidays with this sweet, remarkable lady. She was a light for all who knew her. Her kindness and warmth will be missed by all of us, and it truly was a blessing from God to have her in our lives. We have been touched forever.

She was John's eternal love. We were lucky to see that love and how they cherished each other. We are so sorry to lose her so soon. Her legacy is in the memories she left us with - which are sweet and precious.

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