Evadna “Jean” Lankford 72, of Newburgh IN/ Lawrenceville, IL, passed away peacefully on March 24, 2022 after a swift and mighty battle with ALS. Jean was such a light in this sometimes dark world and she will be deeply missed by all who were lucky enough to know her. She touched the lives of so many.
She is preceded in death by her loving parents: father James “Bud” Spencer, mother Norma Jean Spencer, and brother Jim Spencer. She is survived by her 2 children & 5 grandchildren, whom she loved and treasured: Heather Clark and granddaughters Hannah, Alayna and Layla Clark of Newburgh, IN, and Travis Griesemer and granddaughter Mazie Griesemer of Lawrenceville, IL, and grandchildren Amanda Hemerling and Cameron Jones. She is also survived by her loving and supportive siblings: sister Neil Griggs, brother Scott Spencer (wife Cinda), sister Christy Fox, brother Tom Spencer (wife Theresa), and brother Marc Spencer (wife Krista) all of Lawrenceville, IL, and cousin who she always thought of like a sister Deb Griesemer (husband Gary) of Bridgeport, IL. Additionally, she has many nephews and nieces whom she treasured and loved (and so many honorary siblings/kids/grandkids!!). Everyone who met Jean seemed like her family, she had such a way of forming these meaningful bonds with those she encountered.
During her time with us, she loved hard and deep…most often in tender loving ways, but also willing to give a dose of ‘Jeannie style’ tough love (for example- “Do you need a kick in the rear? Because I’ll give it to you if you need it!!”) She was an artist, with a passion for painting, and she left us with many treasured pieces of art – though, ALS robbed her of the ability to do all she wanted in the end. God gave Jean a huge heart for service- always ready to serve in any way that was needed. She loved working out in her garden – digging in the dirt and making things grow. She was such an active person, who had a wide variety of passions including the love of music, dogs, art, and friends and family. Jean was always present for others when it was needed, a true example of how God wants us to love others.
Born in Lawrenceville, IL to a large and loving family as 1 of 7 siblings. She would often reminisce fondly of times shared with family – the Spencer’s were the kind of family that was always connected, and there was always a story or a laugh involved at someone’s expense (most frequently hers!!). She moved to Mt. Carmel, IL in the 80’s and then on to Evansville/Newburgh, IN in 1994. Jean retired in 2016 after nearly 40 years in banking from Old National Bank– she loved her work, and her work family.
One of the things that brought her joy in her retirement was sharing her daily dose of wisdom through quotes she would collect and share. She grew quite a lot of followers who waited for her daily dose of words. Jean was an incredibly positive individual, even in her battle with ALS. She prided herself on being a survivor and one who always did the hard work to get through the hard things… to be the ‘glass half full’ kind of woman.
Jean loved her Lord and Savior Jesus, whom she recently saw in a dream and as her time neared, she longed for her eternity with Him to begin, to be in His presence and get her new body! As Jean would say to all of us: “Love you More!!”, well… we definitely loved you more, sweet lady, we will always have stories to tell….
An informal ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held on Saturday April 2nd at Friedman Park (West Pavilion), Newburgh IN with a brief service at 11, followed by a celebration with casual lunch and sharing of stories. The rest of the day is open house.