Evelyn Elsie Lenzen 1921 - 2012 Phoenix, Arizona
Evelyn Elsie Lenzen, 90, died April 29, 2012, in Phoenix, Arizona, and was cremated. She was born to Charles and Olga Koeppel in Chicago, Illinois, on September 6, 1921. Evelyn attended Steinmetz High School where she achieved National Honor Society awards her Junior and Senior Years, was president of the German Club, and starred in many of the school plays. Evelyn married Kenneth Lenzen in 1945. He worked on his PhD at Purdue in Indiana, before they moved to Lawrence. Ken was a Professor and Dean in the Engineering Department at the University of Kansas. Together, they circumnavigated the globe and spent nine months in Baghdad, Iraq, on Sabbatical. They traveled throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, behind the Iron Curtain, to Central and South America and were with one of the first People to People groups to visit China.
A Life Member of the Girls Scouts, Evelyn led troops, trained leaders, and held numerous offices for which she received the Thanks Badge. There is a building at the Hidden Valley Girl Scout Camp named “Evelyn’s Attic” for her.
A Life Master Garden Show Judge, Evelyn founded the Design Guild Garden Club, and was a long-time member and officer of Prairie Acres Garden Club. She held the offices of Vice President and Northeast District Chairman of Kansas Associated Garden Clubs. She was an Honorary Member of the University Women’s Club and served on the Lawrence Traffic and Safety Commission. Evelyn was asked to travel all over Kansas presenting slide shows because of the wit and intelligence with which she described her experiences. Her poetry was published.
Evelyn’s husband Kenneth died in 1985. After his passing, she spent her summers in Fenwick, Scotland, with friends, took at least one long cruise and trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, each year, stayed active in her many organizations and taught flower arranging. She spent increasingly longer portions of each year in Phoenix, until 2005, when she moved in with her daughter, Karen Lenzen.
Other beloved family members who survive are her sister-in-law, Virginia Hale, her nieces and nephews Larry Hale of Anchorage, Alaska, Janice Hale-Levin of Orinda, California, and Sharon Hale of Santa Cruz, California; her cousins, Fritz and Joan Reiber, of Lawrence, Kansas, and their five children. The families of Beth Reiber, Mitch Reiber, and Durand Reiber live in the Lawrence area. Kristen Van Zweck and her family live in San Diego, California. Gretchen Eckerle and her family live in Liberty, Ohio.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1245 New Hampshire Street, in Lawrence, Kansas on September 6, 2012, at 3:00 PM. Donations may be made to the Lawrence Humane Society.
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