In Memoriam: Everett Lienhart


In Memoriam: Everett Lienhart

Everett F. Lienhart, 85, of Elkhart, Indiana, passed away peacefully at the Center for Hospice in Elkhart, surrounded by family, on May 25th, 2019.

Everett was born in Elkhart on September 24, 1933, to Charles and Tursia Yoder Lienhart, both deceased. He is preceded in death by one brother Walter Lienhart, sisters Lillian Kelly, Doris Labrie, and Marjorie Glanders. He is survived by sister Nancy Kline of Bristol, and brother Don (Sandy) Lienhart, of Tempe, Arizona.

He attended Concord High School, where he was manager for the basketball team, and graduated in 1951. He met Anne Stokely shortly thereafter. They married on June 4th, 1955, moved to California for a short while, then returned to Elkhart and started a family. They moved to Heaton Lake in 1963, where they raised eight children, and lived there together for the rest of their lives. Anne preceded him in death October 26, 2016.

Everett was employed as a car salesman for a few years, and eventually went to work for NIPSCO, moving from general labor to welder to foreman. He retired from NIPSCO in 1990.

When Everett moved to Heaton Lake he was told that the DNR was going to declare the lake dead – Chara algae baled up out of the water, lily pads grew across the entire lake, and four year old bluegills were the size of a quarter and you could see through one if you held it up to the sun. Working with the Indiana DNR, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the Heaton Lake Conservation Club, the weeds were brought under control and the fisheries were restocked.

 When other lake groups got word of the success at Heaton Lake, there was a demand for assistance and advice. Everett eventually incorporated a lake management company, Weed Patrol, Inc, and was a founding member and past president of the Midwest Aquatic Plant Management Society. He was also a founding member and a past president of the Indiana Lakes Management Society.

Everett was active politically, serving on the planning and zoning commission, running for Elkhart County Council, working the polls on Election Day, and he was a delegate to the Indiana Democrat State Convention on several occasions.  He was a long time member of the Edwardsburg Snowmobile Club and the International Watercross Association. He was always happy to take family and friends on a morel mushroom hunt or a camping trip.

Surviving are their children: Jim (Karen) Lienhart, Syracuse, NY; Leslie (Tony) Cunningham, Elkhart, IN; Cathy (Vann Weideman) Wagner, Edwardsburg, MI; Laura (Tim) Steller, Pittsboro, IN; Beth Acosta, Elkhart; Julie Fernatt, Cottonwood, AZ; Chip (April Cervigni) Lienhart, Sedona, AZ; and Jenny (John) Roberts, Elkhart.

He is also survived by 20 grandchildren: Ranya Wagner, Marvin, Randy, Amanda, Becky and Billy Stuller, Gracie Blank and Loralee Roberts, Tina Wiltfong and Jason Acosta, Kayla and Ben Fernatt, Tim, Greg, and Patrick Steller, Megan Stabler, and Sidney Hawkins, Ashley Draime, Ian and Sean Cunningham, and 21 great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Carlen Sharp for the care and time she has given Everett over the years, and Jason Acosta, who stepped up to care for him and assisted him so he could enjoy his final years.

The viewing will be at Wally Mills Zimmerman Funeral Home on Monday, June 3rd, from 4 to 8 PM.

The service will be at St Mary’s of the Annunciation in Bristol, IN, on June 4th, with visitation from 2 to 3 and a funeral mass at 3 PM, and a gathering following in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donating to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Diabetes Association.