Eveline Leisner, a longtime French educator, died on Jan. 5 after living with Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years. She was 75.
Born in Germany in 1937, she was hidden from the Nazis by a Belgian family, during which she learned French. She said she loved the language because it saved her life. In 1960, she married Elkan Leisner, a fellow German survivor.
A UCLA alumna, Leisner taught French at Birmingham High School for more than 20 years, after which she taught at Los Angeles Valley College for eight years. Leisner was active in many French education organizations, such as Princeton’s Advanced Placement program, and served a term as president of the Southern California chapter of American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) and two terms as a regional AATF representative.
The French government awarded Leisner with the honor of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques for her promotion of teaching French language and culture. In 2005, the AATF awarded her its Distinguished French Educator honor.
Leisner, who was predeceased by her husband, is survived by two daughters, Tina McDermott and Susan Fitoussi; stepson David Leisner; and grandchildren, Joshua Fitoussi, Esperance Fitoussi and Graham McDermott.
Donations in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association are appreciated by the family.