Elinor Derr Lamade 100, of San Diego, CA, died on Tuesday, July 21st, 2021. The elder child of Leroy Fritsch Derr and Marion K. Derr, Elinor was born on August 7, 1920 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.
Elinor grew up and spent most of her early life in Williamsport, PA. She graduated from Williamsport High School, attended the College of William and Mary, and graduated from Pennsylvania State University. In 1943 she married Dietrick (Deet) Lamade, II, who, also from Williamsport, had joined the Marine Corps as a pilot at the outbreak of WWII. There were many deployments overseas and in the US, including several moves to San Diego, CA, where Elinor gave birth to Dietrick (Rick) Lamade, III.
After the war Elinor and Deet settled in Williamsport. With the birth of two more children, Philip (Flip) and Sarah Kathryn (Cappy), Elinor was a full-time mother; however, she returned to teaching when Cappy turned six. A life-long learner, she earned a Masters degree from Bucknell University and a Reading Certification from Mansfield State University. During summers she enrolled in art, botany, and Spanish courses. She also loved to travel and visited Hawaii, Japan, and Greece. One summer she led an American Youth Hostel tour driving a station wagon with eight young French women on a tour of US Mid-Atlantic states. With her children in school, she also volunteered and was a board member at the Williamsport YWCA and the Junior League of Williamsport, a deacon in the Presbyterian Church, and was active with the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Republican women. Elinor was also a lifelong artist and became a charter member of the Bald Eagle Art League.
In 1985 Elinor retired from teaching and began new life adventures. After an extended vacation to Florida, she accepted Rick’s invitation to live in Madrid, Spain, where he was stationed. She explored Portugal, Turkey, and Greece with friends from the American Club of Madrid and the English-Speaking Union. A year later she moved to Asheville, NC. Although she knew no one, she quickly made friends and a life for herself. She joined the First Presbyterian Church, the English-Speaking Union, the New Friends of Asheville, the Republican Women's Organization of Buncombe County, and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. After five plus years in Asheville, she decided to move closer to her children. Again knowing no one, she bought a home in Stanton, Virginia and became active in the church and the community. There were two Presbyterian churches in the community and after attending services in both she picked one. When the Pastor asked why she picked his, said the pews in the other church squeaked.
Twelve years later, in 1997, when her daughter’s job was transferred, Elinor moved to San Diego, where she became active in the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, resumed art lessons, worked out with a personal trainer, took up Tai Chi, enjoyed watching the Padres play, hearing the San Diego Symphony, and enjoyed cruises and excursions with friends and family.
A woman of wit and warmth, Elinor was a wonderful role model to her children. She nourished life-long friendships with family, former colleagues and friends gathered over the years. She brought grace and an upbeat sense of humor to every occasion. While she experienced sadness and disappointments in life, she embodied optimism and rolled with life’s punches, and made the best of whatever the circumstance. She truly embraced living life with joie de vivre.
Elinor is survived by her three children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in Williamsport, PA, on Saturday, October 9th, 10:00 AM at Wildwood Cemetery Chapel. Memorials may be directed to the Junior League of Williamsport; 220 W. 4th St.; Williamsport, PA 17701; The Bald Eagle Art League; P. O. Box 1102; Williamsport, PA 17701, or Covenant Central Presbyterian Church; 807 W. 4th St; Williamsport, PA 17701.