Lenore Arnautoff

Date of Birth

November 5th, 1927

Date of Death

January 9th, 2014

Memorial Meeting

University Friends Meeting


She was born on November 5, 1927, to Allan Edgar Kramer and Marion Marie Chantry in Pasadena, California. Her father and his parents were great admirers of Edgar Allan Poe, and her name was drawn from a poem by Poe.

She and her family lived in a winterized tent in Yosemite from 1937 to 1942, and her brother said they felt the entire Yosemite valley was their back yard.

Lenore earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in clinical psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and a master’s degree in social work from Smith College. She worked as a social worker and individual therapist in California, Alaska, and Washington, among other places.

She married Jake Arnautoff in 1972, and they moved to the Seattle area. Lenore found work as a master’s level therapist at Group Health Cooperative, and Jake continued to work as a longshoreman and develop as a painter. Lenore and Jake were avid cyclists and took cycling vacations to Denmark, England, Holland, and Russia. Their affection for each other was a pleasure to see. They had no children. Jake died on February 6, 2007.

Lenore’s mother was a birthright Quaker, and throughout her mother’s life Lenore attended Quaker meetings when visiting her mother. She described her father as “anti-religious”. She joined the Unitarian Church while in college.

When she began attending University Friends Meeting in Seattle, she felt a strong sense of belonging. She wrote in her letter requesting membership “I have long prayed alone, but the potential for praying together with like-minded Friends was overwhelming.” Lenore and Jake joined University Friends Meeting in 1992.

Lenore was active on the Arts Committee at UFM, and she facilitated the sale of many of Jake’s paintings as a benefit to Meeting after his death. Many UFM members will remember Jake and Lenore through his paintings of Seattle and its surrounding mountains.

In the early years of her retirement, she volunteered as an advocate for children involved in the court system.

Lenore was also active at Bayview Manor, the retirement community where she and Jake lived for many years. Her kindness to newcomers, her leadership in arranging movie nights, and her willingness to hold staff accountable to high standards were mentioned at her memorial service there.

Lenore stood up for what she believed was right, enjoyed a good argument, and advocated effectively both for herself and others. She was a passionately engaged Democrat. While laid up with a painful hip issue, she resolved her difficulties with Medicare independently, by writing an effective letter to her representative to Congress. She was a loving and generous friend.

She is survived by her brother Lloyd, Lloyd’s son Andrew and wife Cindy Kramer, grand niece- Gretchen Kramer, and her dear friend Lilli Ann Carey.

A memorial meeting for worship was held at University Friends Meeting in Seattle on March 23, 2014.