By Neo H Morake
Dr. Lenora Moragne, a Southwest resident since the early 1970s and a youth advocate, passed away on April 1 at Grand Oaks Assisted Living Community in Washington, D.C. of advanced dementia and complications from a recent stroke.
Lenora was born on September 29, 1931 in Evanston, Ill. to Joseph and Linnie Lee Moragne. They provided a loving home for Lenora and her three brothers, Joseph Jr. and twins, Drs. Adolph and Rudolph Moragne, all of whom predeceased her. In 1954, Dr. Moragne earned her B.S. in nutrition at Iowa State University, and her M.S (1959) and Ph.D. (1969) in nutrition from Cornell University.
In Southwest, she was a member of the board of River Park Friends, Southwest’s Youth Activities Task Force, and the Southwest Educational Excellence Team (SWEET), which awarded students from Amidon Elementary, as Amidon-Bowen Elementary was known at the time, and Jefferson Jr. High Schools with funds to start savings accounts. She also spent weekend mornings tutoring Jefferson Jr. High school students.
Dr. Moragne’s varied professional career, which spanned 60 years, included positions in hospitals, nutrition publishing, academia, and government. From 1977 to 1979, she served as Senator Bob Dole’s legislative assistant, becoming the first African American woman to join The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry as coordinator of nutrition policy for the Health and Human Services Division.
In the late 1980s, she became the founding editor and publisher of the Black Congressional Monitor, a monthly subscription newsletter that reported on the legislative activities by African Americans in the U.S Congress, as well as federal government departments, agencies, and programs. JET Magazine cited her newsletter as “the most comprehensive listing of Black input on Capitol Hill.”
Dr. Moragne is survived by a large extended family, including seven nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren, and her adopted granddaughter, Neo Morake.
To honor Dr. Moragne’s memory, donations may be made to The Joseph and Linnie Lee Moragne Scholarship. Please contact Ms. Joanne Bertsche, Executive Director, Evanston Township High School Community Foundation, at BertscheJ@eths.k12.il.us for more information or to make your donation.