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Lennie was a high energy and sometimes difficult child-she began walking at nine months. When she was three, her parents adopted a cocker spaniel named Inky. One day her mother went in the back yard and found her crying. She asked, "Why are you crying?" and Lennie replied, "Inky bit me". Her mother then asked, "Why is Inky crying?" and Lennie responded, "I bit him back!"
Following a wonderful childhood in Laverne where she was known as Lulu, Lennie graduated from Laverne High School where she was drum major for two years. She then attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva where she received a B.S. in Secondary Education in three years while working on campus.
After college, Lennie taught at Hennessey High School and then spent a short time in Oklahoma City working at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. She then moved to Norman and began teaching social studies at the OU Laboratory School and attended graduate school at OU. At an OU Geography Department fall picnic she met a young professor, John Steinbrink. Following a rather quick courtship they were married the day after Christmas (isn't that when teachers get married?), 1971, at the Laverne Methodist Church. After the Lab School closed, she taught at Norman High School and gave birth to a son (Jack) in spring 1974.
In fall 1974 the family moved to the Clear Lake area of Houston near the Johnson Space Center. Lennie became a stay at home mother and completed Texas certification at UH Clear Lake. In 1977 she had a second son, Logan.
During this period the boys enjoyed a wonderful childhood living in the multicultural space community where Lennie substitute taught at Armand Bayou Elementary School. She was active in PTA, Little League mothers, soccer moms and in church activities where she was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church. She was also active with the neighbors because of the boys and because of the constant challenging weather-torrential rain, floods and hurricanes.
The family returned to Oklahoma (Stillwater) in 1990 after sixteen years in Texas. After substituting for a short time, Lennie was fortunate to become a full time social studies teacher at Stillwater High School where she taught psychology and American history, and later focused on world history. Always energetic, Lennie loved teaching and was adored by her students. Her classroom was highly interactive and focused on big ideas. She retired in 2007 shortly after John retired. She loved Stillwater High School and living in Stillwater.
Lennie was preceded in death by her parents and numerous aunts and uncles. Besides her two sons, Jack (Stillwater) and Logan (Denver), she is survived by two sisters: Janie Wofford (Laverne), Trudy Howard (Chickasha) and nephew Larry Howard of Seymour, Texas, and niece Cindy Abdon of Chickasha, and several nieces and nephews.
John, with whom she enjoyed forty-eight years of married bliss, also survives. As her close friends know, John and Lennie were almost inseparable from the time they met nearly five decades ago.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com.
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