Lorna Ellen LePonis
May 3, 1917 – Apr 17, 2019
Lorna Ellen LePonis
Born on May 3, 1917 in Lignite, North Dakota, Lorna was fourth of eight children of Anna and Joseph Hanson. She had just started first grade in 1923 when the family moved to Auburn, Washington. Her maternal grandparents were already settled here.
Lorna was a good student and received the PEO (Push Education On) Award when she graduated from the eighth grade. She was an all A student in high school and graduated valedictorian from Auburn High School in 1935. In 1937 she graduated from Edison Vocational School.
She first worked as a secretary at Balfour Guthrie & Co. Ltd in Seattle. After passing the Civil Service Exam, she was called to Washington, D.C. in early 1941. She was assigned to a new agency, the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service. Several weeks before Pearl Harbor, thirteen of the employees were chosen to move to Portland, Oregon to set up a monitoring station for foreign broadcasts from the Far East. They were to monitor and record broadcasts from Tokyo, Chungking, Singapore, Manila, Saigon, etc. She found the work very interesting. A little over a year later, she was transferred to the FBIS office in San Francisco where she worked as Monitor-Editor during the war years. She later transferred to Voice of America where she worked as a Research Technician.
In 1946 she returned to Seattle and married Frank LePonis. They lived in Seattle all their married life. She was an active member on St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. There she worked for years at the Emergency Feeding Program and, also on the Altar Guild. Frank and Lorna had three children- Richard, Dennis and Karen. Richard died in 1968 at Madigan Army Hospital.
Her husband Frank died in 1998 after which she left their home of 45 years on Webster Street and moved into Foundation House, a retirement home in Federal Way, Washington. She moved to Caring Arms Adult Family home in Puyallup in 2016. She is survived by her son Dennis ( Jan), daughter Karen (Jeff), grandchildren Peter ( Angela), Erin, and Erika (Chris). She has one great granddaughter Amara. She has one remaining brother Earl Hanson of Auburn and also numerous nieces and nephews.
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