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.