Cover photo for Willa Vashti Centanni's Obituary
Willa Vashti Centanni Profile Photo
1956 Willa 2022

Willa Vashti Centanni

January 13, 1956 — December 11, 2022

Willa V. Centanni, age 66, of Grants Pass, died December 11, 2022 at her home.

Born in Beaufort, North Carolina, Willa lost both her birth parents Ralph and Margaret Lightfoot

at the young age of 7. Willa had 7 siblings, 3 sisters and 4 brothers all of whom were split apart

throughout the country landing in foster care, adoption, and orphanages. The Lord showered

Willa with his love and grace, bringing Robert and Agnes Schumann into her life, adopting her and

bringing her to her new home in Pitman, New Jersey. Willa was lovingly embraced by her new

siblings Bobby, Jeanne, Mary, Anna, and Andrew. In 1975 Willa met the love of her life Joseph

“Anthony” Centanni and were later married on December, 23rd 1978. This December 23rd

would have been their 44th wedding anniversary. They gave birth to two beautiful children Lori

in 1983 and Joey “Louis” in 1985.

Willa was a devoted mother and loving wife, working many jobs to support the family. She

achieved her Associates degree in Art, which was her greatest passion. She was an incredibly

gifted artist, painter, sculptor and she also worked at the Ocean City Arts Center for many years in Ocean City, NJ.

She was frugal and extremely generous all at the same time and had a very unique, quick witted,

dark sense of humor to which she passed along to her son. 

Willa moved to Oregon to help her daughter, a single mother, to raise her newborn son Fin. She always put her family first before herself, never having a bad word to speak of anybody.

She is survived by her husband Joseph Anthony Centanni, here two children Lori Agnes Centanni (39) and Joseph Louis Centanni(37), her beloved grandson Fin Johnson (8), and her siblings Robert Schumann of Mullica Hill,

NJ, Mary Stech of Pitman, NJ, Anna Goetter of Williamstown, NJ, Andrew Schumann of

Westville, NJ, Jane Holbrook of North Carolina, Carma Sostre of Chicago, Il, Richard Lightfoot,

of North Carolina, and Daniel Lightfoot of North Carolina. 

A service for Willa, will be held at a later date in Ocean City, New Jersey.

Memorial donations to a cause that Willa loved dearly can be sent to

The Masonic Home For Children At Oxford

North Carolina's First Home For Children

Donate At:

Please leave a message on the tribute wall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willa Vashti Centanni, please visit our flower store.


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