Johnson Walton Funeral Home

Vanessa Thatcher

Vanessa Thatcher

On the morning of August 13, 2021, Vanessa Amy Fleming Thatcher of Holland Township, NJ, passed away at the age of 68 at Good Shepherd Specialty Hospital in Bethlehem, PA. After a long and hard fought seven-year battle with ALS, Vanessa is finally at peace. She put up a good fight and beat the odds at every turn. She had finally decided to get some rest and fly with the angels.

Vanessa was born to Catharine (Search) Fleming and Herbert Fleming on September 15, 1952. On September 11, 1982, she married Lance Thatcher, and together raised five children, Alfred, Zenobia, Cory, Lancer and Presley.

Vanessa was passionate about herbs and was a proud Certified Natural Health Professional. She was a devoted lifetime member of the Board of Trustees at Baptistown Baptist Church, where her family has been attending for generations. Her faith in God was solid. Vanessa was selflessly devoted to her children and was a kind, warm, and loyal friend. She loved unconditionally and will be remembered for her caring spirit. She took the commandment “Love thy Neighbor” to a whole new level. If you needed absolutely anything, Vanessa would be there without question. Being with her grandchildren was the brightest part of her day.

She loved to garden, cook, bake and do research for her Family Tree. In her younger years, she was a model and even won beauty pageants. Vanessa was also proud of her American Indian heritage. She had a frisky sense of humor and treasured laughing with her friends and family, especially at family reunions. Vanessa loved melted coffee ice cream, her soap operas, and trying out new healthy recipes. She volunteered at the Milford bed races, Holland Township Community Days, and the Riegel Ridge Rams booster club. Vanessa absolutely loved organizing the class reunions for her Delaware Valley Regional High School class of 1970.

Departing before her were her father, Herbert Fleming, her mother, Catharine Fleming, and her sister, Tirzah Doyle. Vanessa is survived by her husband Lance Thatcher, brother Nicholas Fleming, her four children, Alfred Sautner III, Zenobia Sautner, Lance Thatcher II and Presley Summers, her daughters-in-law Carlene Sautner and Briana Thatcher, son-in-law Dennis Summers, her granddaughter Naomi Summers, grandson Judah Summers, caregiver and niece Marcy (Hale) Scully, stepson Cory Thatcher and wife, Briana Thatcher and their children, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family will receive relatives and friends for a visitation on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 from 6-8 PM at the Johnson-Walton Funeral Home, 24 Church Road, Holland Township, NJ. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 11 AM at the funeral home. Interment will follow at the Frenchtown Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Vanessa's family has asked that you make a donation to The ALS Association in her honor.

For more information or to send online condolences, please visit


From: Dawn Sherman Gardner
Where do I start with this dear and special friend of 55 yrs? What you were going thru the last several yrs. I can't even begin to fathom, but every time i saw you or talked to you, you always asked how I was or my mom was. Your concerm for other people was always on the top of your list. You were so caring and giving to everyone. I will miss our talks,our special friendship and how we made each other laugh even at my last visit. I love you, now go walk thru the field of flowers and pick a big bouquet. I want to remember you standing there holding that by your face with your sparkling eyes and beautiful smile. That is how I want my last memory of you to be. You so deserve your wings today.

From: Donna (Fazekas) Rygiel
To the family and friends of Vanessa; I was very sad to learn the news today of Vanessa's passing. Vanessa and I graduated together. We worked many years together on different class reunion committees. I remember Vanessa as a kind person who loved the Lord. She was a faith warrior and gave her heart and soul to her Lord and Savior. She will be missed but this life is only a temporary passing place. She will be in God's perfect kingdom one day when Jesus returns. You are now no longer suffering. Revelation 21: 4 tells us "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Until then Vanessa, you are an angel with the Lord. Peace and Blessings always, Donna (Fazekas) Rygiel and husband Bob

From: Marlene Hewitt
Fly high my friend. I will miss you. My condolences to your entire family.

From: Norma Butler
My heartfelt condolences go out to all the family and friends sharing the grief of her passing.

From: Vera en Ton de Haan
We want to let you know that we are thinking of you during this difficult time. We are the Dutch friends of Scott and Sharon. We are so sorry for your loss Lancer and lots of love and strength to the whole family..with love Vera en Ton de Haan

From: Pat Leonhardt
I knew Vanessa from years ago, and found her to be incredibly warm and gentle. Wishing you all peace.

From: Hertha Sabol
My dear family, watching Alfred and. Zenobia so many years ago in my daycare, your Mom was so special, kindhearted warm person! Will always remember that ! Love and hugs to all !

From: Nancy Opdyke
May your family find peace, and be lifted up at this time knowing that this beautiful angel will forever be looking after them.

From: Donna (Gordeuk) Tyler
Words aren’t enough at this time; but my tears flow with yours. Vanessa showed courage, determination, and love throughout her life, especially during her fight against ALS. I’ll always love and admire her, especially for her faith in God. Her natural therapy method encourages me to keep using the same approach. What a privilege to be counted as her friend!

From: George Brindisi
To Thatcher and Fleming families My condolences for your loss of such a fine person I went to school with Lance and I recall how happy he was to meet and marry Vanessa what beautiful children and family they made Thru I friended Vanessa and.saw how proud she was of her family And truly enjoyed her posts.on family. Her opinions her politics and stories . last I saw her and Lance at high school reunion and admired lance as he took care of her during her illness. my heart goes out to My old friend Lance and his family for Vanessa. God bless you all. George brindisi

From: Ross Gardinor
Thoughts an sympathy to the family for your loss.

From: Sue Croll Kell
Vanessa was committed to getting the classmates together for our reunions. What a generous contribution of her time and energy! Even with ALS, she forged on hoping to do our 50th. Her kind spirit will certainly be with us in the future.

From: Britney (Thatcher) Searles
I am so very sorry to hear about Vanessa’s passing. I hope her peace brings you all comfort in this difficult time.

From: Irene & Reg Bowers
We send our sincere condolences and prayers to your family. May God grant you all strength and peace at this sad time. Our love & prayers always, Irene & Reg

From: Rev. Ed Hardwick
To Vanessa's extended family I extend my greetings, condolences, and appreciation for your wonderful supportive care over the years as described to me by some long-time friends from Baptistown Baptist Church. I had the privilege of serving as Interim Pastor there in 2001 and 2002, getting to know Vanessa and some family members and enjoying Vanessa's vibrant personality, avid support for her personal and church families, and her expertise in herbal remedies. Just a few years ago, when she was still able to drive, Vanessa came to a "reunion dinner gathering" at the Vogt home when I was there for a visit. A very happy memory for me from that evening was the obvious effort she made to be there, staying late, laughing heartily at Herbie Rohrer's tales and humorous chatter from all the group, and just being the pleasant, smiling, joyful soul I recalled from many years before. We are richer for those memories and heaven is richer for her presence. Amen and amen!

From: Sandra L Opdyke, Keeler
Sending my Sincere Condolences to Vanessa's family, We went to Kingwood Elem & Del Val HS together,She was always such a Sweet Gal,Was so nice to reconnect with her on FB the past 10 yrs. May she rest in peace .

Send a Condolence

Due to various reasons, some people who wish to attend the visitation and/or funeral for someone are unable to. With an online condolence, your personal message is assured to get to the family of the deceased.

Please fill out the following form and click submit when you are finished. The Funeral Directors will ensure that the family receives your note of sympathy.

To the Family of:
Your Name:





(Only your name and message will be shown online)

To help us prevent spam, enter "8845" here: