Sept. 27, 1952 – Sept. 19, 2015
Elizabeth Mae Kensinger, a native of Niagara Falls who helped found a Catholic parish in Yellville, Ark., died Saturday at her home in Yellville after a long illness. She was 62.
The former Elizabeth Mae Lasher was a former resident of the Town of Niagara and was a 1970 graduate of Madonna High School in Niagara Falls.
Mrs. Kensinger worked as a nurse’s aide at the Fairchild Manor Nursing Home in Lewiston until she met her future husband, Steven Kensinger, during a visit to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.
After his retirement from the Air Force as a staff sergeant in 1976, the couple and their children settled on family land in Yellville.
Since there was no Catholic Church nearby, Mrs. Kensinger and her husband helped form St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Yellville. While the mission parish was being organized, services were held in Mrs. Kensinger’s home.
Later, meeting in a Baptist Church building, the new congregation was able to raise money to build their own church, and Mrs. Kensinger became the church organist. She also participated in many other church activities.
Vestments and other clerical items from St. Leo’s Church in the Town of Niagara were donated to the fledgling parish.
Survivors, besides her husband, include three daughters, Jennifer Cates and Patricia and Amanda Kensinger; a son, Joseph; five sisters, Kathleen Lasher, Margaret (Peggy) Wolf, Teresa Winslow. Eileen Thorman and Rebecca Guarino; two brothers, Michael and Thomas Lasher, and two grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in the former St. Leo’s Catholic Church at 2748 Military Road, Town of Niagara, now the St. Leo’s site of St. Vincent de Paul Parish.