Leila Lou Hemmingsen, of Topeka, Kans., died Saturday, Feb. 25, at Aldersgate Village in Topeka, Kans., at the age of 84.
Leila was born the daughter of Melvin Camden and Cecilia (Wieland) Gass on Saturday, Dec. 3, 1932 in Hastings, Neb., and attended the Hastings Public Schools where she graduated in 1950. A 1954 graduate of Hastings College, she taught public school music in Grand Island, Neb.; Denver, Colo.; Salina, Kans. and Wellington. While in Denver, she sang with the Denver Opera Company. Leila served as choir director for the First Presbyterian Church and St. Johns Lutheran Church as well as a Sunday School teacher and Treasurer of First Presbyterian Church. On Aug. 18, 1956, Leila and Christopher Hemmingsen were united in marriage in Hastings, Neb. Together they celebrated 41 years of marriage before his passing in 1997. She served on the Four Winds Girl Scout Council for four years as well as Community Chairman and leader. She has been a member and served as president for Treble Clef Federated Music Club. She served as Cultural Arts Council Chairman for three years, a member of Wellington Music Boosters and Wellington Book Club, holding offices in both. She was a member of the PTA Council as well as holding offices in the Eisenhower PTA. She served as Local Chairman for the Heart Fund Drive for two years, as well as area chairman for several years. She has been a part of the Wellington Community Theater serving in several areas and was a member of the Wichita Symphony Chorus. Leila was invited into her mother's P.E.O. Chapter FH in 1951 and has been a member of Chapter ET in Wellington before moving to Topeka in 2001 and joining Chapter HG. She has served as a Ruling Elder of First Presbyterian Church as well as being a member, council member and president of Church Women United.
Survivors include her daughter, Heidi Nelson and her husband James N. "Jay" of Casper, Wyo.; son, Christopher "Andy" Hemmingsen of Albuquerque, N.M.; brother, William "Camden" Gass of Moline, Ill.; grandchildren: Alexandria Nelson Young, Samantha Nelson Paschke, CJ Nelson; great-grandchildren: Lyla, Hank and Theo Young and Hunter, Briley and Adalene Paschke. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband.
Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28, with the family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Funeral services for Leila will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 1, at First Presbyterian Church in Wellington.
Interment will follow at Sumner Memorial Gardens in Wellington.
A memorial fund has been established in her loving memory to the American Heart Association. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.
To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.cornejodayfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.