Lana Rae Lenz, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and dear friend to so many, died January 28 in her home on Whidbey Island. She was born in Colorado Springs in 1942, the daughter of Luther and Zelda Keplinger. As a young girl growing up on a ranch in the shadow of the Rockies, she thought of Pike’s Peak as her very own mountain. Lana Rae graduated from Whitworth College (Summa Cum Laude) and with her teaching degree in hand, moved to Seattle and took up her first professional job teaching English and Speech at Shorecrest High School. This was the beginning of a journey as multifaceted as it was full of professional accomplishment. She earned an M.A. in Speech from the University of Washington and a certificate in early childhood education from California’s Pacific Oaks College. She interned at Bellevue’s Little School and was one of the founders of The Seattle Children’s Museum which still flourishes today. And on this journey, she took to the airways with a program on parenting tips on KIRO radio and as a producer in the Public Affairs Department of KING TV, writing and co-producing many important documentaries that won awards and raised public consciousness. She became a therapist in the daycare treatment program for abused and neglected children at the Ryther Institute. Then it was back to the University of Washington to be a part of its Center for Instructional Development and Research. Many professors have credited Lana Rae with their success as teachers at the University. With her singular communications skills, her genuine and deep affection and respect for friends and colleagues, and her ever present smile, Lana Rae was a remarkable and unforgettable woman who will be profoundly missed. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Cliff Lenz, sister Janet Lee Keplinger, son Connor Lenz and partner Breezy Teichow, son Darren and wife S’rae Lenz, granddaughter Kylah Lenz and grandsons Reeve and Garrison Lenz. A memorial service will be held March 9 at 1 PM at the Magnolia Lutheran Church 2414 W. 31st Street in Seattle. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Lana Rae's name to the Seattle Children's Museum.
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