Dec. 4, 1928-Aug. 11, 2018
Palo Alto, California
Lu will be dearly remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law and friend, as well as a tireless community volunteer, environmental educator, talented artist, musician, dancer and intrepid traveler.
Lu was born in Walsenburg, Colorado, to Frank and Ida Yelonek, and grew up in Gallup and Albuquerque, New Mexico. After graduating from the UNM with a degree in fine arts, she moved to central California to teach kindergarten, and then moved up to San Francisco where she worked for many years as a layout artist in the advertising department at the White House department store. While singing in the San Francisco Bach Choir, she met John Bingham, and the two were married on August 29, 1959. They lived in San Francisco and John's native England for a few years, and then settled in Palo Alto, where they lived for 52 years.
While raising their two daughters, Lu worked with several volunteer organizations. Her love of children and nature led her to be a pioneering member of both the Environmental Volunteers (EV's) and Gamble Garden's Roots and Shoots program. She was also a devoted volunteer for the Palo Alto Co-op grocery delivery service for seniors and the Palo Alto Heritage Tree Society.
Lu was passionate about music. She had a lovely alto voice, and she and John sang with Schola Cantorum and Masterworks Chorale. She also played violin with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and several chamber music ensembles. She enjoyed composing songs, which she played on the guitar. More recently, she had fun strumming with the "Uku-ladies" ukulele band and choreographed a tap dance routine. Friends -- and everyone she met -- were warmed by her kindness, consideration, empathy and especially, her wonderful sense of humor.
She passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family, after a sudden decline from congestive heart failure. She is survived by her husband John; daughters Anne and Trish; sons-in-law Kevin and Larry; grandchildren Frank, Sam and Rose; and sisters Kathaleen Cook of Boulder, Colorado and Frances Martin of Pompano Beach, Florida. A celebration of her life will be held at Gamble Garden in Palo Alto at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29.