Elaine E. Limbaugh
Nov. 24, 1927 - July 6, 2021
Elaine Esther Limbaugh (Hensel), 93, and longtime resident of Clackamas County, passed peacefully in her sleep July 6, 2021 in West Linn, Ore. She is survived by her three children: daughters, Lea Millay (Limbaugh) of Portland, Lana Jeanne Croy (Limbaugh) of Plain, Wash., and son, Keith Alan Limbaugh of Terrebonne, Ore.; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death are her former husband, Jack Leroy Limbaugh (1984); one daughter, Kathleen Kay Limbaugh (1984); and her brother, Hyle Herman Hensel (2011).
Born in West Point, Neb., Nov. 24, 1927 to the late Herman August and Esther A. (Gerhardt) Hensel (both descendants of nineteenth century German immigrants), Elaine was a graduate of West Point Beemer Junior-Senior High School and later earned her B.S. (1950) and M.A. (1969) degrees in education from the University of Nebraska. Elaine's career began with teaching high school in Nebraska, then brought her to the Portland area in 1970, where she taught upper division and graduate-level literature at Portland State University for 37 years. She retired in 2007. Elaine was an ardent reader, a gifted writer, and a well-respected tenured professor.
Having come-of-age in the Great Plains during the Great Depression and World War II, and later raising four children as a single mother, Elaine was fiercely independent and drew personal and academic inspiration from pioneering female authors such as Willa Cather and Emily Dickinson. In retirement, she was an avid world traveler, skilled piano player, symphony-goer, Cornhusker football fan, and "mom" to her Scottish terriers.
"Grandma Honey," as she was known by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, will be remembered for her trailblazing career in academia, her lifelong dedication to sharing a love of literature, and for her commitment to advancing the performing arts.
She will be laid to rest beside her daughter Kathleen in Oswego Pioneer Cemetery in Lake Oswego, Ore. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Portland State University Library.
Elaine will be terribly missed, but not soon forgotten.
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Published by The Oregonian from Jul. 15 to Jul. 18, 2021.