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The Dash Between: TB Clinic administrator Lenore Eastin Wayman

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Lenore Eastin Wayman began working for the Lorain County Tuberculosis Clinic in 1964, when it was established at Pleasant View Sanatorium in Amherst.

The former Amherst resident, who died Feb. 22, 2010, at age 90, started as a clerk-typist for the clinic. She retired in 1981 after several years as administrator of the TB clinic, which still offers chest X-rays, skin tests and prevention treatment at its out-patient service center on Murray Ridge Road in Elyria.

TB treatment changed significantly during the 20 years before Lenore joined the clinic staff.

“Patients were isolated in sanatoriums and treated with rest and sunshine,” Lenore told an interviewer in 1977 about earlier treatment of the disease. “In real bad cases, they would remove the diseased part of the lung.”

More photos below.

By the mid-1960s, as advancements in drug therapies allowed patients to stay home, with the clinic monitoring their conditions, the need for sanatoriums diminished.

The Dash Between:

About this feature

The dates of birth and death that appear like bookends on a tombstone do not matter as much as the dash between those dates: The life that a person lived.

The Dash Between is an obituary feature written by Alana Baranick about regular folks from Lorain County and adjacent areas. Baranick wrote her first obit in 1985 when she was a reporter for The Chronicle. She wrote obituaries for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer from 1992 through 2008.

She is the chief author of “Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers” and director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers. She won the 2005 American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award in the Obituary category.

Today, Alana Baranick examines The Dash Between on April 28, 1919, when Lenore Eastin Wayman was born in Cuyahoga County, and Feb. 22, 2010, when the retired Lorain County Tuberculosis Clinic administrator died at Wesleyan Village in Elyria.

The Dash Between is scheduled to appear in The Chronicle every other Sunday.

To suggest a story or make a comment, contact Baranick at abaranick@chroniclet.com.

Read more of The Dash Between:

“TB isn’t gone, but it is controlled,” Lenore said in that 1977 interview. “We’re treating as many people in the county now as we were when Pleasant View was filled to capacity — except our modern hospital doesn’t have walls.”

Her Christian faith guided her to choice of occupation and defined her life, according to a letter she wrote to her children several years ago.

“I feel God was working in my life before I realized who He was,” wrote the mother of four, who was born Lenore Joan Maher in Cuyahoga County on April 28, 1919.

Lenore was 4 when her mother, who grew up in Cleveland, died at their home in Lakewood as the result of a rheumatic heart condition. Her father, unable to care for his children alone, took Lenore and her younger sister, Dorothy, to live with his mother and stepfather in Lorain.

Their grandmother impressed the little girls with stories about Jesus and taught them to sing such hymns as “God Will Take Care of You” and “Love Lifted Me.”

Within a few years, their dad married again, and the girls went back to live with him, his new wife and a baby brother, Billy, who was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors told the family that Billy would never be able to speak, walk or live a productive life.

“But nobody told Billy,” said Lenore’s daughter, Annette Wayman.

Billy Maher grew up to become the Rev. William T. Maher, an ordained minister who taught handicapped children at Church of the Open Door’s Shadyrest Gospel Center in Elyria. Lenore, who sang at churches, weddings and community events, often sang solos for her brother’s classes and sermons.

As an adult, Lenore’s sister, Dorothy, moved to Arizona, and her name was Dorothy Decello when she died in 2002. Billy also died that year.

Lenore, who had skipped the third grade, graduated from Lorain High School in 1936. She was living with her parents in Avon Lake in the late 1930s when she enrolled at the M. B. Johnson School of Nursing in Elyria.

“She always wanted to be a teacher,” her daughter said. “Her mom wanted her to be a nurse.”

She quit school before graduating to marry Bill Eastin, whom she had liked in high school. They were married from Jan. 27, 1940, until Bill died in 1989.

Not long after that, their daughter invited her widowed mother and her widowed father-in-law, Wilbur “Wib” Wayman, a retired U.S. Steel electrician, to join her for breakfast.

“They started to date,” her daughter said.

Lenore and Wib were married April 8, 1990. They moved in 2002 into assisted living at what was then Elyria United Methodist Village, where Wib died March 22, 2007.

“She was basically a happy individual,” her daughter said. “Even though she was losing her memory, she was always smiling, always talking to people.”

Ella Poplar, a relative and former TB clinic employee, recalled having fun as a child visiting Lenore and her family.

“She would waddle around like a duck,” Poplar said. “She’d have all the kids waddling around like ducks (to a children’s radio program). She played a lot with the kids and raised a nice family.”

Lenore’s son, Bob, recalled, “She was always a great mother to us. We used to go to Lakeview on Saturday morning. She cooked breakfast for us on the beach. At dinnertime, we did some Bible readings after we got done eating.”

Lenore taught her four children — William “Skip” Jr., Annette, Bob and Roger — by example.

“She taught all of us be generous,” her daughter said. “She was forever, when somebody was sick, taking food over to them.”

She also volunteered at preschool classes for handicapped children at the Rehabilitation Center in Lorain. In addition, Lenore invited one of her son’s classmates, who had family problems and appeared to be headed to Green Acres Orphanage, to live with her family for a couple of years until he finished high school.

And she wrote letters to local newspapers to recognize dedicated teachers for doing a good job.

Lenore told her kids, “When you have an opportunity (to do good), don’t miss it.”

Contact Alana Baranick at (216) 862-2617 or abaranick@chroniclet.com.

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