Charlotte Selma Elizabeth Lawton Eilers

Charlotte Selma Elizabeth Lawton Eilers. 91, (nee Steinkamp) of Cedar Falls, died Saturday, February 2, 2008, peacefully, in the Western Home after an extended illness.

Char was born March 2, 1916, the daughter of the Reverend George and Hilda Baade Steinkamp of Hawarden.

Char always showed a great interest in teaching and began that career in a one room schoolhouse in rural Iowa.  She graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (University of Northern Iowa) in 1939.  On December. 26, 1940, she married Milo Lawton in Dudleytown, Indiana.  They had one daughter, Mary Ellen (Jim) Manley. who passed away on August 15, 2005.

Char taught kindergarten in the Waterloo public schools for a few years, and in 1956 she was hired as an instructor in speech at UNI, where she taught creative dramatics for several years.  She was also very active in the UNI theater as a costume designer for the plays.  In 1968, Char graduated from UNI with her master's degree.  Milo died on May 6, 1971.  In 1972, UNI presented Char with the Alumni Service Award.

On November 18, 1973, she and a fellow faculty member at UNI, Lawrence Eilers of Cedar Falls, were married.  Larry was a deeply devoted husband and friend to Char and enjoyed traveling with her.  Char and Larry were involved in the Cedar Falls Community Theatre as well as many other local arts organizations.  They were also active members of St. Luke's Episcopal Church.  In 1999, the Sturgis Youth Theatre at UNI established the Charlotte Eilers Outreach and Scholarship Fund in her honor.

Char will always be remembered for her natural ability to keep her eight brothers in line during their childhood (and at reunions!) as well as an organizer par excellence of many large, exciting, and fun family reunions.  She also had a great love for children and the performing arts.  On March 26, 2000, Larry died in Waterloo.  In 2001, Char moved to the Martin Health Center at the Western Home in Cedar Falls.

Char will be greatly missed and is fondly remembered by her stepchildren, Alan, Nancy, Clark, and Linda; her brothers, Erwin (Katherine) Steinkamp, Norman (Judy) Steinkamp, and George (Sylvia) Steinkamp; son-in-law Jim Manley; by beloved nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.

Char was additionally preceded in death by her parents; and brothers, Theodore, Robert, Eugene, Richard, and Roland.

Services 11 a.m. Friday, February 8, 2008, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Cedar Falls, with inurnment at a later date. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Richardson Funeral Home, Cedar Falls.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the church or Cedar Falls Community Theatre.  Condolences may be left at www.richardsonfuneralservice. com.

Copyright Waterloo Courier, February 6, 2008, page A5.


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