School 02

Genie O. Lenihan

June 1, 1937 ~ March 27, 2020 (age 82)


CHARLESTON, IL – Clara Eugenie Osborn Lenihan, age 82 of Charleston, passed away on Friday, March 27, 2020 while at the Villas of Holly Brook and Reflections Memory Care Center.  A celebration of her life will take place at a later date.  Memorials in her honor may be made to the fund Genie and Pat established in 2008 for graduate students at Eastern Illinois University.  Checks may be made to the EIU Foundation-Genie Lenihan Graduate Fellowship in Clinical Psychology, and mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, Illinois  61920.

Genie was born on June 1, 1937 in Norfolk, Nebraska to Eugene and Bernette (Backes) Osborn.  She graduated high school in York, Nebraska and went on to graduate from Duschesne College in Omaha with a Bachelor’s degree, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois in Chemistry.  She later received a Master’s degree from EIU and a Ph.D from the University of Illinois in Counseling Psychology.

While in Omaha, she met and went on to marry in August of 1960 her husband of 59 years, Patrick M. Lenihan.  They settled in Charleston in 1967 and raised three children, Colleen (Tim) O’Meara of Madison, Wisconsin, Michael (Kathleen) Lenihan of Cupertino, California, and Sheila (Jim) Feyrer of Hanover, New Hampshire.

She had an active career in family counseling in Charleston, and was also a 20 year faculty member at Eastern Illinois University in their counseling center and Psychology department.  In the Charleston community, she participated in many groups she loved, including Charleston Community Theater, Coles County Food Bank and her local church choir. 

In addition to her husband and children, left to cherish many fond memories are her grandchildren, Colin (Hilary) O’Meara, Clare (Matt) Wenzel, Patrick O’Meara, Thomas Lenihan, Mary, Abigail and Natalie Feyrer; and one great-grandchild, Jack Wenzel.  She is also survived by five of her seven siblings, Julie (Jim) Schultz, Jane Mershon, Joyce (Bob) Moore, Jim Osborn, Jerome (Michael) Osborn; a sister-in-law, Mary Osborn; and many nieces, nephews and dear family friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents and two of her siblings, Janet Caniglia and John Osborn.

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