Westminster Mourns the Loss of Dedicated Librarian and Community Leader

Westminster College grieves the passing of beloved Westminster librarian Lena Elizabeth “Liz” Buchanan Hauer, 86, of Huntsville, AL. Liz died June 7, 2019, surrounded by family, which includes her husband of 64 years, Westminster Professor Emeritus of Religion Dr. Christian “Chris” Ewing Hauer, Jr.

Liz was employed by Westminster for 23 years and was active in the Fulton community.

Born on January 6, 1933, in Riverton, AL, to Claude and Minnie McCarley Buchanan, Liz moved from Riverton to Madison County, AL, in 1938. She graduated from Huntsville High School in 1950. On June 15, 1955, Liz was united in marriage to Chris Hauer.

Liz attended Auburn University in Auburn, AL, and graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1955. She also earned a Master of Science in Library Science from Peabody College, which later merged with Vanderbilt University, in 1966. 

A pillar of the Westminster and Fulton communities, Liz was passionate about her work at the College, led fundraising campaigns for the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Fulton, and was active in the League of Women Voters. Westminster faculty members remember her with fondness for spending time with and patiently teaching their children to bake cookies. 

Liz and Chris returned to Huntsville upon their retirement from Westminster in 1996. 

Liz loved spending time with her grandchildren as well as friends and extended family. She was an avid gardener and skilled genealogist, enjoyed travel, and was an active member of Hope Presbyterian Church. A lifelong learner and inquisitive reader with broad interests, Liz enjoyed sharing her knowledge with others.

Liz will be sadly missed by her husband; daughter, Anna Hauer Zelinsky, and son-in-law, Yuri Zelinsky, of Takoma Park, MD; granddaughter, Olena; grandson, Peter; sister, Mary Virginia (Ginny) Green, and husband, Ralph Green; sister-in-law, Richlyn Vandiver Buchanan; seven nieces and nephews; and six grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, Claude Nave Buchanan, Jr., and her son, John Christian Hauer. 

A memorial service celebrating Liz’s life will take place at a later date.  

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.