Lilian Eleanor Symons, 96, passed away Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at Morningstar Care Home in Baldwin City, KS. Memorial services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 18, 2021 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence. Inurnment will be at the Trinity Episcopal Church Columbarium.
Eleanor was born on August 30, 1925 in Camborne, England, the daughter of William Mitchell and Eva (Eustice) Symons. She graduated from the University of Oxford having attended Lady Margaret Hall College. She then worked at the University of Reading, England. She was one of a group of English librarians recruited in the mid-1950s by the Director of Libraries at the University of Kansas. She started in the cataloging department at the library and was appointed head cataloger in 1960. She was known by staff for her superb memos establishing cataloging procedures.
She was an active member of Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence where she was a favorite lector for many years and also led Morning Prayer. Eleanor regularly served at the annual Ploughman’s Lunch at Trinity providing church tours in her red “Holy Terror” T-shirt. She was an avid knitter, contributing numerous items for the church’s annual Trinity Treasures sale.
Eleanor was the first volunteer for the Audio-Reader Network. She was recruited in the summer of 1971 and began recording books before Audio-Reader went on the air since they needed a stockpile of books prior to the first day of broadcast on October 11. She was a dedicated volunteer, visiting the studios 2 to 3 times each week to record poetry, short stories, books, and magazines for the print disabled listeners. She was also a great advocate for Audio-Reader recruiting many of her friends and colleagues as volunteer readers. Eleanor was recognized in October of 2016 for 45 years of service. She continued to record books with weekly visits to the studio until early 2019.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Henry Symons, and a nephew, Timothy Symons. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Olive Symons, and a nephew, Christopher Symons, both of Isle of Wight, England.
|Eleanor’s service will be streamed from Trinity Episcopal Church’s website at www.TrinityLawrence.org starting at 9:55 a.m. Monday, October 18, 2021.|
Memorial contributions may be made in Eleanor’s name to Audio-Reader and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.