Halverson, Lillian Jessie (Smith) PhD
1934 – 2017
Lillian was born in town of Union in Waupaca County, Wisconsin on October 20, 1934, and was a 78 year survivor of Polio. She was the daughter of Harold and Thelma (Tellock) Smith, who have preceded her in death. As a youth she attended a one-room schoolhouse, later graduating from Clintonville High School in 1952. She married James Oswald Halverson in a double wedding with her sister Mildred Smith and her husband Kenneth Brighum on June 16, 1956. Lillian graduated from Stout State College (now University of Wisconsin, Stout) in May 1956 with a BS in Home Economics Education. She earned her MS in Nutrition from Stout State University in May 1969 and her PhD in Human Nutrition and Food Service Management from The Ohio State University in May 1987. After college graduation, Lillian began teaching home economics at Elmwood High School in Wisconsin. While living in Menomonie, WI, James and Lillian operated a Laundromat and dry cleaning business. In 1970 Lillian accepted a position in the Human Ecology Department at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV teaching nutrition and dietetics and eventually running the dietetics program. Lillian remained at WVWC until she retired in 2000 upon the close of the dietetics program. Lillian remained active in her community volunteering at the Parish House, serving on the Executive Board for the WV Home Economics Association and as President of the Board of Directors for Upshur County Head Start and for the West Virginia Aging Services. She was a member of AAUW and the Delta Kappa Gamma (ΔΚΓ) honorary for teachers. As a member of the St Josephs Hospital Auxiliary, she knitted booties for sale in the hospital gift shop. She also liked playing bridge with friends, watching her favorite teams compete on television, cooking, genealogy, and visiting relatives. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Buckhannon, and on Sundays when she could not attend services, she enjoyed listening to services on the radio.
She is survived by three children – Lynda (Greg) Selan of Century, WV; Sara (Michael) Kenefick of Hilliard, OH, and son Steven (Sally) Halverson of Carol Stream, IL. Lillian leaves ten grandchildren – Nicholas (Teresa), Benjamin (Jessica), Nathaniel, Elliott (Marissa) and Margaret Selan, Kristofer and Sydney Kenefick, Trent, Trevor and Troy Halverson, plus two great-grandchildren, Imogen and Oliver Fogus-Selan, who knew her as “Nutcracker Grandma.” Also surviving are brothers, Thomas (Mary) Smith, Richard (Kathleen) Smith, and a sister Mildred “Min” (Ken) Brighum, all of Wisconsin. Preceding Lillian in death were her husband James Oswald Halverson (2005) and four siblings – John, Edgar, Harold Jr, and Susan Smith.
Donations can be made in Lillian’s honor to the West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Lillian Halverson Scholarship (Garnet Bruell, WVAND Treasurer, 17 Cherrywood Terrace, Beaver, WV 25813) or to WVWC’s Margaret Walls & Lillian Halverson Scholarship (online at https://ssl.charityweb.net/wvwc/ or by mail WVWC Advancement Office, 59 College Ave, Buckhannon, WV 26201).
A service is planned at First United Methodist Church of Buckhannon (WV) Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11 a.m.
A second service will be held in Manawa, Wisconsin for family and friends at a later date. The burial will be in the Danish II Cemetery in Waupaca County, Wisconsin in the spring.