Elena M. Dyche, 85, of Topeka, passed away Saturday, December 18, 2021, at Brookdale Topeka.
She was born August 2, 1936, in Cardenas Mtzas, Cuba, the daughter of photographer Jaime Miro, from Spain and Rosario (Soto) Miro from the Canary Islands.
She attended La Progresiva in Cuba, completing the secretarial course in May 1953, and furthered her education from Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Elena loved her students and children. She taught for thirty years in the Topeka schools from 1958-1991, before retiring. Her first class was teaching kindergarten in what would become consolidated as USD 437 at Pauline East Elementary, and later in the area at Pauline South Elementary School with combined 1st-6th grade. In central Topeka, later known as USD 501, Elena taught at McCarter Elementary, Monroe Elementary 2nd grade in 1975, kindergarten at McEachron Elementary in 1976, Quincy Elementary summer school of art and Spanish in 1977, and was recognized with appreciation for teaching her third grade class to waltz at McCarter Elementary in 1991.
Elena loved Jesus and would describe herself as a born again Christian. She attended Western Hills Baptist Church and later was a member at Wanamaker Woods Church of the Nazarene (The Woods). Church folks and repair people would often visit Elena to help with projects at her home and end up being treated to snacks and stories.
Elena became an American citizen in 1961 as well as a dedicated member of the G.O.P. “Grand Old Party” Republican, passionate in her calling about educating others to cherish and keep American freedoms over communism and socialism. She was elected neighborhood Republican precinct woman in 1992 with the record for the most votes ever received in that area.
Elena married Jerry Dyche, and they later divorced. Their son James Dyche was born on May 9, 1959, and was raised by Elena in Topeka.
Survivors include her grandsons, Brandon and Robert Dyche in Ohio, and Christopher (and Andrea Dyche) of New York; her niece and nephew, Jessica and Jonathan Miro of Spain; best friend, Iraida Vazquez of Cuba that moved their family to Topeka with her; Iraida’s daughters: Iraida Orr, Hortensia Smith and Marissa Smerchek; church friend Sheri Moore; and neighbor Mary Paden.
She was preceded in death by her brother Jaime Miro in Spain; her parents in California; and her son, James Dyche in Florida, on April 19, 2015.
Elena was an avid reader, enjoyed scrapbooking, shopping infomercials and landscaping. She relished in a good Cuban meal and spending time with friends. Her son was her pride and joy, and she was devoted to her family. She was full of life and will be missed greatly.
A Visitation will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Monday, December 27, 2021 at Dove Cremations and Funerals – Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Rd., Topeka.
A Funeral Ceremony will be held 10:00 am, Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at Wanamaker Woods Church of the Nazarene, 3501 SW Wanamaker Rd., Topeka. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 3616 SW 6th Ave., Topeka.
Memorial contributions may be made to La Progresiva Presbyterian School, 2480 NW 7th St., Miami, FL 33125 or to Hillsdale College, 33 East College St., Hillsdale, MI 49242.
To leave a special message for Elena's family, click the Share Memories button above.