Eileen Hart

Eileen Hart, 73, of Lawrence, Kansas, peacefully passed away in her home after a long and hard-fought battle with cancer on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

She was born Judith Eileen Thompson on March 1, 1944, in Greenville, Texas, to Lucille E. (Montgomery) and Jesse E. Thompson.

Eileen graduated from Greenville High School in 1962 and East Texas State University in 1966 with dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and French.

A job as an activities services coordinator brought her to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where she also met and married Vaughn E. Hart on August 9, 1968. They later divorced in 1984. During her time at K-State, Eileen completed a master’s degree in education-guidance in 1978.

Eileen worked in high schools in Concordia, Ellsworth and Topeka (Highland Park), Kansas. In 1997, she returned to her hometown of Greenville, Texas, to care for her parents. There she worked at Greenville High School and retired from New Horizons Learning Center in March of 2009. An educator and guidance counselor for three decades with an incredible passion for students and their own individual
success, Eileen was also a student council adviser and leader for many years. She was an avid reader and as an only child had a quiet and private nature — but
she would come alive with energy and humor on stage. Her name can be found in
playbills from dozens of community theater performances in Concordia, Salina, Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas, and Commerce, Texas.

She enjoyed gardening, traveling and animals and was above all things, a beloved grandmother. Shortly after her retirement, she moved back to Kansas in 2009 to help with the next generation of grandkids who lovingly call her “Nonny.”

Eileen was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lawrence and enjoyed participating with the Vintage Players troupe from Theatre Lawrence. She also was recognized with a Charley Award from Theatre Lawrence in 2012 and 2013 for her many hours of volunteer service.

Eileen is survived by two daughters, Judith Hart (Donald Perkins), Dresden, Tennessee, and Cynthia Hart (Todd Johnson), Perry, Kansas. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Aaron Hart, Greenville, Texas; Tilly, Keats and Jetty Johnson, Perry, Kansas.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

The family would like to thank the LMH Oncology Center and VNA Hospice staff who took great care of Eileen and her family.

No services are planned at her request. Eileen spent countless hours and walked many miles at the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum with her dog, Indy, and grandchildren, and a tree and bench will be placed there in her memory at a later date. Go for a walk, count the geese, and think of Eileen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lawrence Kiwanis Foundation, Vintage Players at Theatre Lawrence, the Boys & Girls Club, or the Friends of Raintree and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

8 Condolences

  1. Rusty Thomas on April 25, 2017 at 7:44 am

    A lovely lady who was well-loved. I will miss her, her smiles, and yes, her chocolate cookies.

  2. piet r.knetsch on April 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    I knew Eileen through Theatre Lawrence. I was her director for the production of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is when we became acquainted. She was a lovely person, and I will miss seeing her at the theatre. I very much enjoyed working with her, and being a friend. I will celebrate her life, which in turn enriched mine. Thanks be to God for Eileen.

  3. Mary Ann Saunders on April 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Eileen was a very active volunteer at Theatre Lawrence and a valued member of The Vintage Players. Of the many times Eileen performed with the group one or another fellow actor would say something like: “Oh I am so glad Eileen is doing that skit. She does it so well and is sooo funny! I was lucky enough to perform with her in a skit at last summer’s “Senior Moments.”

    I also was Eileen’s director in Betty Laird’s “To Catch a Butterfly” August 2011. Eileen helped out behind the scenes as well. We were so lucky to have her help in so many ways.

    We will miss her greatly.
    Mary Ann Saunders, Director, Vintage Players.

  4. Donna and David Tout on April 25, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    The love and care that was shared with her family including those cute little cupcakes and so much more will live on in the memories of all who knew her.

  5. Kathy Shockley on April 26, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Cindy, Judy & families
    Eileen was a delightful lady! Throughout the years we were both in Concordia, we shared many laughs as well as long conversations about a broad range of topics. When the discussion was student centered, Eileen always focused on only the best interest and outcome for each and every student about whose success she cared deeply. As your mother, she loved you dearly and often shared the joys and smiles of raising you two. Yes, there were some ‘smiles’… What wonderful memories I have of our conversations and friendship, and I am glad to have counted her among dear, old friends. My sincere sympathy to you with love. Kathy

  6. John and Linda Culley on April 26, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Judy, Cindy, and family,

    John and I want to send our condolences to all of you. Your mother was a dear person. She always had a smile on her face. She was someone you wanted to be around because she made you laugh.
    We are so sorry for your loss.

    John and Linda Culley

  7. paul p on April 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    To Cindy & family
    Value memory and the small moments – as I know you will
    Your Mama was truly one-of-a-kind
    Got to know her best ‘behind the bar’
    And those associations always are more than skin deep
    I loved her laugh and sardonic sense of humor- she was clever and giving, smart and strong
    You are in mind.

  8. MaryANne Glossup on May 14, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I’m a friend from high school who lost touch with Eileen for many years. It is fun to read what her life was like as she got older. She was one of my best friends and was a bridesmaids in my wedding. We were in the drill team together in our junior and senior years of high school. IN the spring, the drill team and the band had “floor shows”, most dancing and costumes. Eileen was always better at that then I was but she was always encouraging. She was a sweet friend and it seems as if she changed little as she got older. I last saw her about four year’s ago and I wish we’d had more time to re–connect. Sometimes your earliest friends and be the best ones. My condolences to your family, dear Eileen.

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