Lynn W. Eley

Lynn W. Eley, 83, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2009, in Greensboro, N.C., after several years of suffering with vascular dementia.

Lynn was born in Zearing, a small farming community in central Iowa, the oldest of the four children of Wilbur and Myrtle Eley. After serving in the Navy at the end of World War II, Lynn was fortunate to be able to attend Harvard College on the G.I. Bill. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Iowa.

After working for three years in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C., he moved into academia, both as a professor of political science and as a university administrator. While teaching at the University of Michigan, he was elected to the city council of Ann Arbor and was instrumental in the passing of Fair Housing legislation in that city. After spending a few years at Washington University in St. Louis, he came to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1968 and served until his retirement in 1992.

His first love was active politics, and he was very proud to be elected Mayor of Mequon for two terms, from 1980-1986. Mequon was developing fast in those years Ė from a farming community with subdivisions, to a major Milwaukee suburb Ė and Lynn was able to oversee this expansion, including the controversial widening of Mequon Road.

From 1993-1995, Lynn and his wife, Janet, lived in Cedarburg, where Lynn continued to be involved in a variety of volunteer work. He was president of the board of Riveredge Nature Center for two years.
In 1995, they moved to southeast Arizona, where they spent 11 happy years. They were able to indulge in their passions of nature and the outdoors, history, Arizona and Mexico and more travel. They also became members of the newly formed Unitarian Universalist Church of southeast Arizona. Because of Lynnís illness, he and Janet moved, in 2006, to North Carolina to be nearer to their daughter Margaretís family.

Lynn leaves behind his wife, Janet, five children, seven grandchildren and his brother Wendell (Helen) who still runs the family farm in Zearing, Iowa. The three children from his first marriage are Tom (Susan) of New York City, N.Y.; David of Northville, Mich.; and Mary Karoub (Michael) of Grosse Ile, Mich. Lynn and Janetís children, who grew up in Mequon and graduated from Homestead High School, are Ben (Yasmin) of Miramar, Fla; and Margaret (Matthew) Mulry of Greensboro, N.C. His grandchildren are Liza and Meg Karoub of Michigan, Xian Eley of New York City, Tyler Eley of Miramar, Fla. and Abby, Ben and Allison Mulry of Greensboro.

Memorials in Lynnís name can be made to Riveredge Nature Center, P.O. Box 26, Newburg, WI, 53060, or to the charity of your choice. Janet can be reached by e-mail at