Lennis died on Sunday, Oct. 6 at home. She was 82 years old.
Lennis was born in Cloud Chief, Okla., on Aug. 1, 1931 to Chloe and Willie Colwell. She was the youngest of seven children. Her family moved to St. Helena, Calif., when Lennis was an infant. Lennis grew up in St. Helena and attended St. Helena schools.
She met her husband Tom in elementary school, and they began dating while they were in high school.
Lennis graduated from St. Helena High in 1949. She attended Chico Normal School for two years before marrying Tom.
Lennis spent most of her adult life as a homemaker. She followed Tom across the country while he served in the US Navy. Lennis and Tom had their first child, Tommy in Texas. When Tom’s enlistment was up, Lennis and Tom returned to Oakville and then St. Helena. Lennis and Tom had three younger sons, Mark, Terry and David while they were living in the Napa Valley.
Lennis continued to support Tom while he pursued his career throughout California. She contributed to each community including: serving as president for the Auxiliary to the Children’s Clinic in Long Beach, president of the Federated Women of Upper Napa Valley and was a co-founder of the “Reading is Fun” program sponsored by the Federated Women.
While in Fairfield, Lennis took a job as a bank teller in the Fairfield branch of Bank of America. She was a familiar face to many locals who banked with BofA.
Lennis and Tom retired in St. Helena. They built a new home that Lennis spent a lot of time decorating to her tastes. During their retirement, Lennis and Tom travelled throughout the U.S., and around the world.
Lennis is survived by her husband of 61 years, Tom, her sons and their spouses/partners: Tom and Gretchen, Mark and Betsy, Terry and Joanne,
and David and Darrel. She is also survived by her grandchildren: William and Tyler, Andy (wife Jennifer) and Katie, Laura (husband Brandon), Nic (wife Kelly), Mikey and Caleb, plus four great-grandchildren: Dane, Chase, Audrey Ella and Michael Jayden.
Lennis will be remembered during a rosary at the St. Helena Catholic Church located at 1340 Tainter Street, St. Helena, CA 94574 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
Lennis will be celebrated during a Mass at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10 , also at the St. Helena Catholic Church.
Interment will be immediately afterwards at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery on Spring St.
Following the graveside service, there will be a reception to remember Lennis at the American Legion Hall, 1291 Madrona Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574.