Lenna Mae Goehring passed away June 28, due to complications from a life well-lived. She was a bright spirit, a grand sister, a curious student, and a fierce mother. Her biggest joy was life itself, and food, art, music, interesting ideas, and always—always—people. She raised her daughters to think for themselves, to ask lots of questions, and to be passionate about their beliefs.
Lenna Mae was born September 11, 1930. Her Mother, Stella, and her Father, Leonard, were so pleased to see a daughter after the births of five sons that of course they named her after her father, but they smoothed it by adding her mother’s middle name, Mae. Once they learned the trick, there followed three more daughters. The last child sadly never got to see her father, who passed away suddenly before she was born. Her father, Leonard Dannels, died when she was seven, leaving her mother, Stella, to raise her and her seven siblings. Stella raised her children with lots of strength and love and laughter. And when the family had nothing else—they had that.
Lenna was the first of her family to graduate high school, and was bound and determined to go on to college, which she did on the GI Bill after serving time in Tokyo in the Women’s Army Corp. She mustered out of the army with a new husband. The husband didn’t stick, but he left her with a beautiful baby daughter, Carol Reynolds.
Lenna graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Arkansas and moved back to Sheridan, Wyoming, to teach school. Teaching, she decided after a couple of years, wasn’t for her. Instead, she went to work at the VA Hospital, where she met the guy that did stick. Fred Goehring married Lenna in 1960 and soon after they added three more daughters to her collection: Christie, Bernadine and Donna.
Lenna held a variety of jobs throughout her life; sewing was a life-long passion— but the true center of her life was her people. Her sisters were her best friends. Her brothers were a source of pride and aggravation. Her Mother was her lifeline. Her husband inspired her interest in art and music. And her daughters were her investment in the future. She carted them to scouts; hauled them to music lessons; funded their art lessons, music competitions, travel; sat through their concerts and quizzing and play performances. She encouraged them always— to be the best that they could be.
Lenna is survived by her children: Carol and Ron McAfee, Christie and Newton American Horse, Berni and Jim Cockey, and Donna Gifford; her sisters: Ella Lee and husband Carl, Betty Lee, and Hazel Addington and husband Doral; 13 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the Billings Clinic, and in Boise, Riverview Rehabilitation, St. Alphonses Hospital, and Amber Lane for their considerate care in her final days.
We love you Mama, and we will miss you to the moon!
Graveside Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 14, 2014, at the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery with Reverend George Snyder officiating.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.