Sharon Jean Hanusin Posted: 2019-01-04 15:22:30

Sharon Jean Hanusin


Sharon Jean Hanusin (nee Lenz) passed away peacefully while surrounded by family at Highland Park Hospital on December 27th at the age of 80 after a more than twenty year struggle with cancer. She was the treasured wife of John Hanusin, loving mother of Mark Hanusin (Lynnette), and beloved grandmother of Katelyn and Bethany Hanusin. Sharon was born in Evanston, IL on May 19, 1938 to Edgar and Marguerite Lenz (nee Horne). She was a graduate of Evanston Township High School and held bachelor’s and multiple master’s degrees from Valparaiso University. She taught in the public school systems of Hammond IN, Skokie, IL and Northbrook IL.

As a dedicated servant of the Lord, and at the invitation of Pastor Richard Gotsch, she founded The Mustard Seed Nursery School at Grace Lutheran Church in Northbrook, IL in 1982. The school was successful in bringing up hundreds of children in the Lutheran faith and many children that were educated there have brought their children to the school. She continued to teach there for more than 30 years until her retirement. She also taught part-time and was active in other church activities until very recently.

She aggressively sought to use her status as a cancer patient as a platform to study the disease so that future generations might find more effective treatment. She participated in experimental anti-cancer drug therapies at Highland Park Hospital, researched the extensive cancer history of her Lenz family ancestors (of northwest Iowa) and published the histories going back more than ninety years. These results were revised annually and distributed to the extended family around the country.

Sharon's energy and tireless dedication (despite her pain and discomfort) will be missed by all who knew her.

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 the family will greet friends from 1:00 until the 2:00pm Memorial service all at Grace Lutheran Church -2245 Walters Ave., Northbrook, Illinois. Following the service there will be a reception at the Church.

For further information please call the funeral home at 847-515-8772 or on-line condolences may be directed to

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Diane Moody 2019-01-06 09:16:07

A very special lady who was always very generous with her time and talents at Grace for many years. She will be deeply missed by all who had the good fortune of knowing her.

Terri Harbaugh 2019-01-07 08:40:19

My mother in law, Marjorie Harbaugh, was related to Sharon on the Lenz side of the family. Sharon was always very inclusive of us in letting us know about the family reunion, so I know she was a thoughtful and caring person. God's peace to all in her family....she will be missed.

Judy Waldeck 2019-01-07 13:40:10

Jack and Mark, I want you both to know how much Sharon meant to me. We have known each other since The Mustard Seed was started. We always worked well together and also became very good friends. We laughed and cried together many times over the years. Even after we were both retired we still had fun times together. I will miss her very much.

Carolyn Mourer 2019-01-09 11:23:17

She was a wonderful lady. I enjoyed visiting with her at the Lenz Reunion and appreciated all her hard work putting together the Lenz Reunion information. She will be missed by all who knew her!

Dottie Oberst Pruvenok 2019-01-11 21:36:32

John, I'm so sorry to hear of Sharon's death. You and the rest of the family have my sincere condolences.

Charles Hanusin 2019-01-12 12:24:04

Sharon was a joy and inspiration to me and many others. I will always remember her thoughtfulness.