Donald E. Lenfest
July 07, 1934 ‒ April 28, 2007
Donald E. Lenfest, of Delaware, Ohio and Winthrop, Maine, died peacefully at home on April 28, 2007. He was born on July 7, 1934 in Augusta, Maine, the son of the late Donald E. and Claire (Giddings) Lenfest. Don graduated from Kent’s Hill School, Capital University, Ohio State (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph. D). He had a long and distinguished career as a diplomat, teacher, and scholar. In 1964, he received the U.S. Government’s Award for Meritorious Service for his work as Director of the Centro Venezolano-Americano (1961-1965). Most of Don’s career was spent at Ohio Wesleyan University where he worked as an administrator and a professor of Spanish and linguistics. Always with the aim of furthering second language learning at O.W.U., Don worked tirelessly as Director of the English Language Program (1974 – 1985) and the Critical Languages Program (1975-2006), and as Chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. Throughout these years, Don continued to research and publish articles in the scholarly journals of his field. He was frequently invited as a visiting lecturer and was awarded two Fulbright Scholarships. Don’s love for language and scholarship was matched by his love for his family and his lifelong affection for the Spanish language and Latin America. He served the local Hispanic community as a volunteer translator and interpreter whenever needed. He is survived by his loving wife Nancy Lenfest; his three children Richard Lenfest and his wife Katie of Boston, Mass., Claire Lenfest and husband Kangwah Lo of Toronto, Ontario, and Collette Gavin and Colm, of Germany and three stepchildren; Anthony Frates of Augusta, Me., Kristina Frates of Scarborough, Me., and Dan Frates, of Woodstock, Ga. and eight grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Vivian Ferrill Lenfest and their much-mourned daughter Johanna Marjorie Lenfest. A memorial service will be held at Jemison Auditorium in Sandborn Hall, 23 Elizabeth St. on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University on May 12, 2007 at 2:00 PM. Interment to be at the Mount Hope Cemetery, Augusta, Maine. Date and time to be announced. Memorial contributions may be made to Grady Hospice or your local Hospice. Rodman Neeper Funeral Home & Crematory assisted the family.