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Elva Dawn Lanowick


1916 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Elva Dawn Lanowick Obituary
ELVA DAWN LANOWICK Elva Dawn Lanowick passed away at her home at Mountain Meadow Lodge in Paradise, California on January 11 after a short illness at the age of 98. A warm, intelligent and compassionate woman, she will be remembered as a great friend to many here and abroad, a learned student of the Bible, and a dedicated supporter of the state of Israel. Elva was born in Battle Creek Michigan on December 17, 1916 to Shirley and Edith DeGroot. Her father was an avid follower of Charles Taze Russell and the Bible Student Movement that he founded. Rejecting affiliation with any established institution, Bible Students, including Elva's father, crossed the country teaching Russell's interpretation of the Scriptures to Christian audiences, especially the prophecies contained in the Bible regarding God's plan for earthly salvation. After leaving Battle Creek, Elva moved to Brooklyn, NY where she worked for a Christian publishing company and taught Bible study for three years before returning to Battle Creek. Elva met her husband, Casmir, at a Christian convention in Chicago. Casmir was also a follower of CT Russell and saw the return of Jews to the Holy Land and the rebirth of the State of Israel as part of the Divine program for human redemption as foreseen by the Hebrew prophets and as set forth in the teachings of Pastor Russell. Calling themselves Christian Zionists, the Lanowicks dedicated themselves to publicizing the successful development of the new nation. Soon after their marriage they moved to Redwood City, California where they continued publication of their monthly digest, Jews in the News (later changed to Israel's Restoration News). Read mostly by Christians, the publication primarily reported on Israel's progress and its role in fulfilling Biblical prophecy. In 1950 Casmir and Elva moved to Israel and for three months crisscrossed the country filming all aspects of its development while making many life-long friends there. They returned to Israel many times, living there for 4 months in 1957 and then for 15 months in 1958 and 1959. Returning to the states with film and slides, the Lanowicks launched into a six-month series of lecture tours entitled "Israel as I Saw It in Light of Biblical Prophecy." They carried on this schedule for more than ten years; they also lectured in Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, through their Land of Promise Tours, Casmir and Elva brought hundreds of Christians to Israel to see for themselves this "miracle of history." The couple moved to Paradise, California in 1960 to be close to Casmir's parents. After the six-month lecture tours ended, Elva worked for eight years as a legal secretary for Chico attorney George Marsh. After Casmir's death in 1980, Elva carried on their mission as director of the Christian-Israel Friendship League and continued to bring Christian tourists to Israel. A good friend of the Jewish community in Chico, Elva joined the Butte County chapter of Hadassah, a volunteer women's Zionist organization responsible for many health and youth projects in Israel. In the 1990's Elva moved to Boynton Beach, Florida to be close to her brother Shirley (Lee) DeGroot and sister Cecile Leech who resided there. Within a few years, both brother and sister died and Elva made a welcome return to her former home in Paradise. Elva spent her last years in the good care of the aides at Paradise's Mountain Meadow Lodge where, at 98 years of age, she continued to clip and underline articles about Israel to send to her Christian and Jewish friends. For those who wish to do so, memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish National Fund for a tree or trees to be planted in Israel in Elva's memory.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 20, 2015
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