Grace Elizabeth Campbell Lyons Slinde. Walworth, WI (1924-2014)
September 20, 1924 - April 27, 2014
Grace Elizabeth Campbell Lyons Slinde, 89, died peacefully with family at her side Sunday, April 27, 2014, in Davenport, IA. Grace lived a long and rich life that was focused on her family, her students, her friends and her community.
Harry and Faith (Welton) Campbell of Ann Arbor, MI, welcomed their first daughter on Sept. 20, 1924, on her father’s birthday. The family already included three sons and two more daughters followed Grace to complete their family. The Campbell family spent many summers at a family cottage on Long Lake, MI, which was coincidentally very close to where her future husband lived in Alpena, and where her future family would spend many vacations. At the age of seven, Grace contracted polio and recovered with minimal side effects. The Campbells moved many times during her childhood, living in Michigan, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Grace graduated from Omaha Central High School in 1942. She returned to Michigan, to attend college, earning a B.S. in Home Economics from Michigan State University in 1948. During her time at Michigan State, she met the love of her life, Ray Lyonson, on a blind date and they were married in Alpena, in June 1947. After graduation, Ray and Grace moved to Port Clinton, OH, where they were blessed by the birth of their three children: Harry in 1949, Richard in 1950, and Patricia in 1956. In 1959, the Lyons family moved to Walworth, WI, where Grace was a homemaker until all the kids were in school and, then, she returned to school herself to pursue a lifelong desire, to earn her B.E. in K-8 Education from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in 1965. Grace has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of children, primarily first graders, during more than 27 years of teaching, starting at Fontana Elementary School, two years at the International School at SHAPE military base in Belgium, and finally at Walworth Elementary School, where she retired in 1992.
Grace loved to travel and experience new places. During her children’s early years, the family made many long car trips to visit with family and friends throughout the country. In 1969, Ray’s job took them to Mons, Belgium, for two years and they traveled throughout Belgium, to England, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.
While Ray battled cancer in 1975 and 1976, Grace made daily trips to/from hospitals in Madison, or Elkhorn, to be with him, even while teaching every day. Ray lost his fight and Grace lost her first love in June 1976. Grace had a second chance for loving companionship and married Lowell Slinde in June 1982. Grace and Lowell enjoyed their own travels, including a cherished trip to Hawaii, along with spending time at their lake cottage until he died in October 1998. In 2009, after 50 years in Walworth, Grace moved to Bettendorf, IA, to live closer to her son, Harry.
Grace was very active in many, church, school and community related organizations. She was an active member of Walworth’s Immanuel United Church of Christ, the Women’s Church Fellowship and Sunday School programs. She also belonged to the Walworth Women’s Club, Walworth County Retired Teachers Assoc., Walworth County Home Economics Teachers Association and the Walworth School History Committee. She served as a Cub Scout and Brownie Scout leader when her children were growing up. When she wasn’t giving her time to others, Grace enjoyed her weekly bridge club meetings with friends.
While Grace has been reunited in Heaven with her parents; brothers: James, Donald and Robert; along with husbands, Ray and Lowell; those who had to say good-bye on earth will miss her loving presence dearly. Grace leaves behind sons, Harry (Yvonne) of Bettendorf, IA, and Richard (Jean) of Madison, WI; and daughter, Patricia (William) McQuade of Cornville, AZ. Her grandchildren, who cherished her include: Josh (Michelle) Lyons, Megan (Matt) Gran, Ross Lyons, Dacia (Mike) Hopkins, Curtis (Maleah) McQuade, Maya Joy (Ryan) West and Kaili (Fidel) Michel. Grace was also blessed with 15 great-grandchildren: Kerrigan and Camden Lyons, Ames Gran, Colleen, Laura, Wesley and Cameron Hopkins, Arabelle, Reese, Peyton and Cara McQuade, Jack and Anne West, David and Faith Michel. Grace is also survived by two sisters, Margaret (Frank) Wolverton of Leicester, MA, and Ruth (Stewart) Ackerman of Honeoye Falls, NY; a sister-in-law, Kathleen Campbell of Mundelein, IL; along with many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at the TOYNTON’S WALWORTH FUNERAL HOME from 4 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30th. A celebration of Grace’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on May 1st at IMMANUEL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST followed by internment at the Walworth Cemetery.