The busy and productive life of Evelyn Edna Hennion has come to an end. She passed away at her home in Medford, Ore. March 1, 2013.
She was born November 7, 1913 in Los Angeles to Ray and Evelyn Henry. As a teen she moved to Ventura, Calif., where she later became senior operator for the Western Union Telegraph Company. It was in that role that she met Tom Hennion, then sports editor of the Ventura County Star-Free Press, in 1936. They were married August 28, 1937, a union that lasted nearly 69 years before Tom's death in July 2006.
In November 1945, they moved to Tulare, Calif. when Tom became editor of the Advance-Register. In the early Tulare years, Evelyn was a full-time, devoted mother to her two young ones, involved in PTA and a leader in Cub Scouts, Bluebirds, and Camp Fire Girls. In 1959, she joined the staff at Tulare Union High School, first in the Counseling Department, then as administrative secretary to the principal, serving over a 12-year period with three different principals.
Retiring in 1971, she turned into one of Tulare's best-known never say no volunteer workers, leaving her mark on so many worthy causes that she was named Tulare's Woman of the Year for 1984. She was also honored by the Civic Betterment Association as Tulare's Mother of the Year in 1978 and Tulare's Woman of Distinction for 1989 by the Soroptimist Club.
She was a charter member and twice chairman of Tulare's Committee on Community Improvement. For 24 years, she and her committee started the ball rolling for, among many other lasting projects, the Tulare Historical Museum, the Community Calendar of Events, and the Neighborhood Watch Program. Her primary gift, however, was her organization in 1973 of the Tulare Volunteer Bureau and the establishment in 1976 of the bureau's companion Court Referral Program.
In 1998, Evelyn and Tom moved to Medford, Ore. In Medford, Evelyn continued to be an active volunteer, giving hours of her time to the Craterian Theater, Providence Medford Medical Center, and the Buncom Historical Society, among others. She also enjoyed playing bridge with her friends and knitting hundreds of caps for kids.
She was predeceased by her husband, Tom, and her son, Reeve. Surviving are her daughter, Judy Harza, Campbell, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Lyn Hennion, Buncom, Ore.; grandson, Jeffrey Hennion, his wife, Betsy, their children Andrew, Nicholas, and Paige, in Pittsburgh, Pa.; grandson, Douglas Hennion, his wife, Laurie Wise, and her children, Mariah, and Alex Bruce, in Eugene, Ore. Messages to the family may be sent to hennionfamily@ yahoo.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Hennion Family Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation (818 W. 8th Avenue, Medford, Ore. 97501) to be distributed to some of Evelyn's favorite charities. At her request, no services are planned.