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Lyles, Elizabeth Marie Venemann, 1911-2008



  • Existence: October 18, 1911 - March 30, 2008

Biographical Information

Elizabeth Venemann Lyles was a Purdue alumna who became president and CEO of W.M. Lyles Co., a U.S. construction company.

Elizabeth Venemann was born on October 18, 1911 in Denver, Colorado. Her parents were Henry Gerald Venemann and Elizabeth Frey Doughty. She attended Purdue University where she earned her Bachelor of Science (1933) and Master of Science (1934) and belonged to many student organizations and honorary societies, including the Women's Self-Government Association, Mortar Board, Gold Peppers, Alpha Lambda Delta, Kappa Delta Pi, Women's Debate, Alpha Xi Delta, Purdue Sportswoman, and more.

In 1933, Elizabeth Venemann married William Lyles and in 1945 they founded the W.M. Lyles Co. (now Lyles Diversified Inc.) which specialized in pipeline and utility construction. Previously serving as secretary and treasurer for their company, Elizabeth became president in 1965 after William unexpectedly died.

In addition to serving as president of her company, Elizabeth Venemann Lyles also served as the first woman deputy from her diocese to the Episcopal Church national convention, first woman director for the Fresno County and City Chamber of Commerce, first woman to serve on the West Hills College Board, and the first woman director for the Purdue University Alumni Association. She also earned many awards and honors throughout her life, including Alpha Xi Delta's Woman of Achievement in Business (1968) and Woman of Distinction (2005), Purdue Alumni Association Alumni Citizenship Award (1980) and Distinguished Purdue Woman Award (1984), and many more.

Elizabeth and William had three children: William M., Gerald V., and Mary Elizabeth.

She died on March 30, 2008.


Fresno Bee (2008, April 20). Elizabeth V. Lyles obituary. Legacy. Retrieved from:

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Elizabeth Venemann Lyles papers

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 20120622
Dates: circa 1900 - 2009