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LENNEA LEWIS SLAGLE
1938 - 2002
Wyoming's First Independent Nurse Practitioner
1938 - 2002
Lennea dedicated her life to caring for others, her family and her patients, providing compassionate, loving health care particularly for those most needy; the elderly throughout Wyoming.
Lennea grew up in Harrison, Nebraska and Lusk, Wyoming caring for her younger brother Lon and sister Leila, while their widowed mother Ione Bigelow Lewis Hruza worked, often two jobs, to support them. Lennea graduated from Niobrara County High School in 1956 and received her Registered Nursing degree in 1959 from St. Luke's affiliate of the University of Colorado in Denver.
Lennea was a nurse in Casper, Lusk and in Laramie while putting her husband Jack Slagle through college. In addition to caring for their children, Kirk and Kim, Lennea worked as a full-time nurse in California, Oregon, Wyoming, and Nebraska, where Jack taught, before returning in 1984 to Wyoming where she provided nursing care for the elderly in Lander. While doing so, she obtained by distance learning her Bachelor's in Nursing from the University of Wyoming.
To provide the specialized care needed by the underserved elderly she spent two years at the University of Utah College of Nursing obtaining her Master's Degree as an Advanced Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, before returning to care for the elderly of Fremont County, Wyoming. She also cared for the underserved and down trodden inmates in the Fremont County's Detention Center for many years. Throughout her nursing career Lennea provided countless hours of in-service instruction on many health care issues to a wide variety of institutions and organizations throughout the state of Wyoming, particularly law enforcement agencies.
Throughout her life Lennea was a bubbly, outgoing, friendly, beautiful person who cared deeply for and about others, including her pets, providing extremely competent loving care for all of her many thousand patients. She loved music; singing in her church choir and playing it beautifully on the piano. She particularly loved being a grandmother to her seven grandchildren. All Lennea ask of life was to love and be loved; and this she indeed was by so many of her patients, their families and her family.
As Wyoming's first Independent Nurse Practitioner, Lennea's life of compassionate care and dedication to helping others continues following her death by an endowment to the Niobrara County Library, for whom the Lennea Lewis Slagle Children's Library is named. This endowment will help provide forever the enjoyment of reading and knowledge that she, like so many children, gained and will gain from this library.
For more information contact the Niobrara County Library at 307.334.3490.