Elizabeth Lightner Landes, 90, died June 13 at the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, IL Mrs. Landes was born on May 1, 1917, in Reading, PA, to Angus LeRoy and Grace (Thompson) Lightner. She attended Hood College in Frederick, MD, and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1939, having majored in English. She worked in the Boston area as a preschool teacher and then, during World War II, in the offices of the Radio Research Laboratory at Harvard University. In 1946, she met her husband, Ralph R. Landes, who was completing a medical fellowship in Boston after his return from service in the Army Medical Corps in North Africa and Italy.
Mrs. Landes moved with her husband first to Martinsburg, WW, and then, in 1949, to Danville, VA, where Dr. Landes practiced medicine as a Urologist for forty years. Mrs. Landes played an active role in the community in Danville, and, with her husband, in the medical community in the state of Virginia and nationally. Mrs. Landes was a member of the congregation of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany and held leadership roles in many volunteer organizations, including the Wayside Garden Club, the Wednesday Club, the American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as President of the Danville Medical Auxiliary, which promoted public health issues, including helping to organize the community’s first polio vaccinations in the late 1950’s. She went on to serve as President of the Virginia Medical Auxiliary in the mid-1960’s and during her tenure she visited each of the 95 counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia at least once. She took an active interest in the civic affairs of her community and was involved in the campaign to end racial segregation in the public library in Danville in 1959.
In 1985, Mrs. Landes and her husband began spending six months each year in Chicago and six months in Monterey, VA. After her husband’s death in 1989, she continued to divide her time between Highland County and Chicago until 1998, when her health required that she spend the entire year in Chicago. In Chicago, she attended St. James Episcopal Cathedral and pursued her interests in music, literature, history, and current events. She moved to Presbyterian Homes in Evanston in 2002.
Mrs. Landes is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, John Landes and Antonia Beh of Chapel Hill, NC; her daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth Landes and Barry Levenstam, and her granddaughter, Sarah Levenstam, all of Winnetka, IL; her brother, A. LeRoy Lightner, Jr. of Durham, NC; her sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Philip Whitehouse of Hampshire, Illinois; her brother-in-law Clyde Tempest of Monongahela, PA; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 23 at Obaugh Funeral Home in McDowell, VA by the Rev. C. William “Bill” Cox and Rev. Mike Sullivan. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Monterey Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to: Highland County Rescue Squad Inc., P.O. Box 268, Monterey, VA 24465; or the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, 975 Main Street, Danville, VA 24541.