Yvonne Lenhard, 81, of Orange, peacefully received her angel wings on August 16, 2022 at home with her family by her side.
Visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Friday, August 19, 2022 at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Funeral services will be 2:00 PM Saturday, August 20, 2022 at Old First Orange Baptist Church, officiated by Reverend Jeff Bell. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Orange.
Yvonne was born in De Queen, Arkansas on April 5, 1941. She was the youngest daughter of twelve siblings. Yvonne is preceded in death by her parents, Archie and Eunice Bradshaw, her husband, Frank “Troy” Lenhard, and ten of her siblings.
She is survived by her two children, Staci Wolfford and husband Greg, Troy “Bubba” Lenhard Jr. and wife Joy; her six grandchildren, Kaitlin Wolfford, Kirsten Wolfford, Hunter Lenhard, Dylan Lenhard, Kevin Lenhard, and Kaleigh Lenhard; her sister, Bonnie McGhee and husband Ralph; and her sister-in-law, Mary Dillard; along with numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
Serving as pallbearers will be Clifton Chandler, Jeff Chandler, Lawrence Chandler, Billy Chandler, Kyle Martin, and Mike Mitchell.
Yvonne was born and raised in De Queen, Arkansas, where she was always surrounded by lots of family members- namely her siblings. Yvonne was a shining star in De Queen and loved by all. She was a cheerleader, FFA Sweetheart, and Valedictorian of her class. She sang on the radio weekly and brought joy to her family and friends.
After high school, Yvonne worked many jobs including as a beautician, at Gordon’s Jewelers, and at Eckerd Drugs before discovering her passion in the classroom. Coming from De Queen, AR – of which the population did not breach 4,000 at the time – it took great courage for Yvonne to pursue this path in education which she did by beginning college classes while also playing many roles as a homemaker, mother, and wife. She began slowly taking classes around 1976, eventually doubling up her class load so she could graduate with her Bachelor of Science in Special Education alongside her daughter Staci in 1988. After graduating, she taught Special Education for 25 years and Science for a year at West Orange Stark Jr. High and High School over the years. Mrs. Lenhard’s classroom was a safe space for all students, filled not only with time and dedication to each student, but also jokes, life lessons, and a lifelong supporter in the corner of each student.
Becoming a mother was always very important to Yvonne and her prayers were answered when she welcomed her daughter, Staci, into the world. Five years later, Yvonne gave birth to Bubba and her family and love grew. Yvonne was a wonderful mother to Staci and Bubba. From the start of their lives, she emphasized the importance of family, enjoying life, and never taking things too seriously. To her husband, whom she married on Valentine’s Day, she was a caring and devoted wife and partner-in-crime. Troy and Yvonne were married for just shy of 36 years before Troy passed away in 2006.
Perhaps Yvonne’s favorite role was as “Nonny.” Nonny’s six grandkids were her source of joy and delight. They all loved their Nonny and were great at expanding her “adopted grandkids.” Friends of the grandkids, kids in her church, her many nieces and nephews, and even some of the grown kids in her life fondly called her Nonny.
Yvonne loved her time attending church. She was a dedicated Christian her whole life and over the years was a member of McDonald, Cove, and Little Cypress Baptist Churches as well as First Christian Church. However, her final church home was Old First Orange Baptist Church. After her first service at OFOBC, she knew she had found her “home.”
Yvonne was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, friend, and teacher. She made the best sopapillas, could breathe life into DIY furniture projects, was an avid Black Friday shopper, a breast cancer survivor, scrapbooker, and spinner of tall tales for gullible grandkids asking for a bedtime story. Her love and legacy will carry far beyond this time and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Old First Orange Baptist Church, Southeast Texas Hospice, or the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Although she was only under Southeast Texas Hospice’s care for less than 48 hours, the family would like to extend their deepest gratitude for the love, compassion, and gentle care that both she and the family received.