This week’s Bugle Call salutes an Aggie wife, mom and grandmother who first came into the Aggie Family when she married her late Aggie husband, Jack R. Blann, Class of ’49.
Lavonne Blann grew up with Jack in Marlin, TX. Jack claimed to have fallen in love with Lavonne in the 1st grade, but it was in high school that the two first dated. Jack came to A&M in 1943 at the age on 17. When Jack turned 18, he left Aggieland temporarily to serve in World War II, where he received military decorations including a Purple Heart, Legion of Merit and two Bronze Stars. Upon his arrival back home, he married Lavonne and returned to Aggieland in 1946. Lavonne stayed in Marlin working for the telephone company as a switchboard operator, but would attend her fist Aggie Football games during these years. At the time, every home game was a homecoming and Jack would buy her a mum.
Lavonne is also tied to the Aggie family through Marvin Mimms '26, writer to the lyrics of Spirit of Aggieland, whose siblings married Lavonne’s aunt and uncle. Since Marvin never married, he spent many holidays with Lavonne’s family and had a lasting impact on the family’s love for the Aggie Band.
Jack and Lavonne traveled together a lot during Jack’s years with Exxon, but found time to take their kids to Aggie games often and listened to the rest on the radio. Upon Jack’s retirement in the early 90’s, they purchased season tickets which they still hold today. Gamedays in Aggieland became a family reunion every week bringing three generations of aggies together to enjoy Aggie football and a halftime win every Saturday.
Lavonne’s Aggie family also includes: son-in-law Randy Cooper ‘79; grandchildren Bonnie Denbo 03’, Ross Cooper 06’, Drew Prochaska '07, and Courtney Prochaska 08’. Her daughter Mary Cooper was president of The Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Club from 2008-2009. Jack and Lavonne’s giving also includes 31 years of contributions to the Century Club.
Though Aggie games were never the same after Jack passed away in 2009, Lavonne and her two daughters ensured that the tradition continued. At 89, Lavonne continues to attend Aggie games in the August heat, November cold, and all the wet games in between. In 2015, the next generation of aggies saw their first game. Lavonne’s great grandson Thomas Jack Prochaska 38’.