Lavina Martin Lower Lile was born on February 13, 1912, in Longwood, MO, on the farm of her grandparents William A. and Mary McClellan Lower. Her parents were Yolande and William Lee Lower. She died peacefully in her sleep at The Kansas City Hospice House on July 16, 2009, at the age of 97 years.
For the past six years, Mrs. Lile lived at The Grand Court in Kansas City, MO. There she was an editor of the newsletter and active in numerous groups, including Writer's Group, Red Hat, Yoga, Bible Studies and discussions groups.
Prior to moving to Kansas City, Mrs. Lile resided in Marshall for more than 75 years. She graduated from Missouri Valley College (Marshall) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Spanish in 1933. In 1986, she earned a Master of Arts and Liberal Studies degree in French and Spanish from Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), where at the young age of 74 years she enjoyed great notoriety for being the oldest coed on campus. Her honors thesis at Dartmouth, "From There To Here In Foreign Language," focused in-depth on the establishment of a foreign language program in a small Midwest college where none existed.
Mrs. Lile began her teaching career during the Depression in a one-room country school. She then was an elementary school teacher in the Marshall Public Schools from 1933-1942. During WWII, she was an Admissions, Development and Alumni Affairs Director for Missouri Valley College and a Spanish and English teacher in Vallejo, CA. From 1960-1978, she was a much-loved teacher/department head of French and Spanish at Marshall High School and a French and Spanish teacher/department head at Missouri Valley College from 1978-1986. She retired from teaching at the age of 90 years.
Mrs. Lile was an Elder of First Presbyterian Church, Marshall. She also was a member of numerous national foreign language organizations, American Association of University Women, Alpha Xi Delta social sorority, PEO, Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, National Honor Society and Delta Kappa Gamma.
On Dec. 31, 1942, she married Howard Rodgers Lile of Marshall, who preceded her in death in 1979. They had three children: Jane Howard Lile Fry (Richard), Pleasant Hill, MO; Sarah Rodgers Lile Taich (James), Chicago, IL; and Lee McClellan Lile (deceased). She also is survived by five loving grandchildren and one great-grandchild: Jennifer Jane Fry Weir (Jim), Ryan Duane Fry, Elizabeth Edwards Taich, Lewis Spencer Taich, Catherine Rodgers Taich and Nadia Sedare Fry; one sister, Mary Lee Bush of Clayton, CA; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son and one sister, Catherine Becraft.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 20, at First Presbyterian Church, Marshall, with burial in Longwood, MO. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Monday, July 20, at First Presbyterian Church in Marshall. Memorial contributions can be made to The Kansas City Hospice House and First Presbyterian Church, Marshall, c/o Campbell-Lewis Funeral Home in Marshall.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com.
Additional information provided per family recompense.