The Heroines

Lillian Razak

is honored with a Brick from Jim & Vanetta Sears

Lillian (McCall) Razak was a lifelong resident of Wichita. She attended Roosevelt and Robinson Junior high schools and graduated from East High in 1938. This was the era when young people walked everywhere, or on occasion rode the street car. She loved music and plays and with her friends walked downtown every Saturday to see movies and have lunch. She loved school and was a member of the National Honor Society. She supported East High teams as a member of the Peppy Pilots club. Her courage was tested at age 13 when she won a battle against cancer, earning the admiration of other students and teachers.
Lillian married Kenneth Razak in 1940 when he was on the faculty at KU. They established a home in Wichita, when he joined the faculty at the University of Wichita. Kenneth is currently Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering at WSU. She resided here the rest of her life, except for a period when Kenneth was at KSU in Manhattan.
Their first child was a stillborn son. Then came two lovely little girls. Nancy, the older, is a graduate of KU and has lived most of her adult life in the Washinton DC area with her husband Denis Symes and two daughters. Jeanne, the younger daughter, suffered a devastating illness at age 8 months which left her severely mentally retarded.
As Jeanne grew into a beautiful but hyperactive adolescent, it became necessary for the parents to place her in a facility, with staff to deal with her condition. Jeanne was a patient at the Parsons State Hospital and later at Windfield. She now resides in a home in Wichita, with other retarded adults, that was purchased by her parents and administered by Starkey Development.
Lillian was one of the organizers of the Wichita chapter of the National Association of Retarded Citizens in 1953. She was a tireless worker, serving first as Corresponding Secretary and later as President. Recognizing that caregivers need some temporary relief, she helped establish a nursery school in a rented cottage at the Institute of Logopedics in 1954, the first of its kind in Kansas. She traveled to Topeka, Washington, DC and elsewhere to acquaint legislators with the needs of the retarded.
Lillian realized from the first the need for retarded citizens to have advocates to protect them from an uncaring world. She was determined that Jeanne Razak would develop to whatever level was possible and that she would maintain her individuality. As a result, Jeanne has many caring friends in Wichita.
Lillian didn't limit her efforts to the area of mental retardation. After Kenneth established Razak Engineering, Inc. she acted as office manager and corporate officer for many years. Kenneth credits her "head for business" for much of the success of the Corporation.
She was a lifetime member of College Hill Methodist Church, a member of the University Dames, Tri Psi sorority, Rotary Anns, Botanica, and Project Beauty. She loved to play bridge and did so as long as possible. She was a gracious hostess.
On their 61st wedding anniversary, Kenneth read a poem that he had written for Lillian while sitting in an airport terminal some 11 years earlier, a tribute to a long and happy marriage. Lillian faced the specter of cancer with grace and courage, with her primary purpose to see to the interests of her loved ones. She did ask that after her service, that a nice buffet be provided and that everyone have a glass of champagne, her treat!