August 10, 1910 – October 3, 2020
Eleanor Bearwald August 10, 1910-October 3, 2020
Eleanor Bearwald, nee Stanley, formerly of Addison, IL, died on October 3, 2020 at the age of 110. Eleanor was born in Forest Park, IL and a long time resident of Addison, IL. She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Erwin. She is survived by her son, Ronald (Nancy) Bearwald, Northbrook, IL, and five grandchildren; Dianne (Michael) Robison, Michael (Elizabeth) Bearwald, Kathrynn (Jordan) Levin, Kristen (Ryan) Foley, Carlyn (Joseph) Fontana, and great grandchildren Paisley, Jameson, and Aspen Fontana. Interment at Chapel Hill Gardens, Oakbrook Terrace, IL will be private. Interested parties may access the obituary, life story, and leave messages at the Chapel Hill Gardens website: www.chapelhillgardenswest.com or you can contact the funeral home at 630-941-5860.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Benevolent Care Fund, Covenant Living of Northbrook, IL. Tel. 224-412-8421.
Eleanor Stanley Bearwald was born on August 10, 1910 at her family’s home. She was the only daughter of Ladislav and Rose Stanley, who were both 21 and 19 respectively at the time of her birth. Her only brother, Clarence, would be born two years later. She was raised in a well-kept working class home located at 1031 Ferdinand Avenue in Forest Park, IL where she attended Eugene Field elementary school. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Forest Park and would follow her Lutheran faith throughout life. Her future husband, Erwin Bearwald, attended the same church’s elementary school. Some years later they would marry at St. John’s.
While Eleanor grew up in the depression years in a working class family, she was never poor. It was during these years that she would learn the values that would ultimately make her life abundant and that she would pass on: keep it simple, make do with what you have, do for yourself before you ask others to do for you, pay as you go, live within your means, expect to work to get ahead, always put you family first.
Eleanor and Erwin met in 1929 when they were 19 years old. Because of the economic demands of the Great Depression years they were not married until 1935 when they were 25 years old. They would remain married for 49 years until Erwin passed away in January 1984.
In 1942, Eleanor and Erwin purchased their first home in Maywood, IL where they resided until 1956 when they moved to a new home in Addison, IL. While living in Addison they were among the charter members of the Addison Senior Citizens. They were members of St. Paul Lutheran Church. They were known to friends as El and Erv.
They loved to travel and did so at first by car whenever Erv had vacation time from his job at International Harvester. Their road trips took them to every capital city in the 48 continental United States. Eleanor never learned to drive. When asked why, her response was, “I never had to.” Erv would do all the driving, El would chart all the routes, make sure the thermos was filled with fresh coffee, provide snacks and roadside table picnics, and update her travel journal while Erv took a brief nap prior to the afternoon leg of the journey.
After their travels took them to Alaska, Mexico and the Canadian Provinces, it was time to fly to Hawaii. That would be followed by European travel to England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and tiny Lichtenstein.
While Eleanor missed the opportunity to finish a formal education, she always valued doing something that would stimulate her mind and provide an opportunity to learn something new. There was always a crossword puzzle, book, or magazine close at hand. She loved riddles and would always a have a quip or quiz ready for you. She remained an avid reader throughout her life and, when her vision became impaired after reaching age 100, she continued with recorded books available through the Illinois Sec. of State’s office.
She never sang in a choir, but she loved music of all kinds and over the years accumulated an extensive collection of 78 and 45 rpm records that represented everything from polkas and Dixieland to gospel and blue suede shoes. She enjoyed playing the Hammond organ in her home but usually not in front of an audience.
Busy hands always accompanied her active mind. She learned the old school crafts and kept them alive by knitting, crocheting, and quilting. Many of items she created have been passed on to family members and are now keepsakes. Along with her husband she developed many craft hobbies and found pleasure in participating in local craft fairs.
Eleanor’s favorite room was the kitchen where she cooked the old school way. Meals were hearty. Dumplings were a specialty treat. Gravy ruled. Some meals included tomatoes and peaches that she had previously preserved in glass Ball jars. Sunday meals and meals prepared for guests were always big enough to provide leftovers to send home with guests or serve during the week ahead. While Eleanor appreciated an occasional steak, those who know her best will recall that her tastes leaned more toward Whoppers and Hackney burgers.
Eleanor knew that in order to have friends you must be a friend. Wherever she lived, she and her husband were quick to turn neighbors into lasting friends with whom they would play cards, share meals, attend church, enjoy senior activities, and travel. Ultimately it would be these established friendships that would help Eleanor bridge the twenty years she would remain in her home after her husband had passed away.
Supported by family and friends Eleanor was able to remain in her home in Addison, IL until 2004 at which time she had reached the age of 94. When it became necessary for her to have additional support she became a resident of Covenant Village of Northbrook, IL. During her initial years at Covenant Village she was able to enjoy independent living in her own apartment. That would be followed by assisted living, and finally nursing care at Brandel Care Center where she would become known as Grandma Peaches because of her wish to have peaches whenever possible at every meal. At the time of her passing she was the oldest resident of the Covenant Village community.
Eleanor was faithful to who she was. She never tried to be anything other than a loving and supportive daughter, a proud sister, a devoted wife, a caring mother/mother-in-law and grandmother, a diligent and inviting homemaker. She enjoyed a healthy life that was free of injury and illness. She enjoyed an abundant life filled with caring parents, a devoted husband, loving grandchildren and great grandchildren, a comfortable home, life-long friends, travel, and a keen mind until the end. Perhaps her greatest gift was the gift of more time than one could ever imagine to enjoy her life.
“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 Good News Bible
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Kristen Foley (Bearwald)
October 18, 2020
Grandma, it was an honor to celebrate you, a true inspiration. Thank you for all the time you gave me to make memories with you. Thank you for your stories and always making me laugh. You were always up for a visitor and a good talk. Thank you for always making sure to send me away with candy or sweets. Thank you for your endless wisdom and advice, and reminding me what’s really important in life. I remember I asked you once about your secret to such a long life, and you told me, "Just take it one day at a time." What a great perspective; one I think of often. I will always cherish our time together, especially our one-on-one lunch and dinner dates and hanging at your apartment. As we would walk around Covenant Village, it was clear that you were loved by everyone. I hope you’re already enjoying all the dark chocolate up in heaven with Grandpa ❤️ I will miss you everyday but your values will live on in forever.
October 16, 2020
Grams, while I am sad that I won’t see you anymore, I will feel you in my life in so many ways every day and, I have many things to thank you for (and, I know Grandpa has been waiting a long time for you).
Thank you for sticking around so long so that I could really get to know you and appreciate you.
Thank you for always being happy to see me no matter how long it had been since my last visit.
Thank you for always being you, no pretense, what you see is what you get.
Thank you for simple memories filled with good food, family and laughs.
Thank you for your amazing, and often humorous stories, complete with hand gestures.
Thank you for that look over the top of your glasses, and the little smirk of your mouth right before you tell a good story. I think of it now and it makes me chuckle.
Thank you for your “one-liners” that still crack me up today.
Thank you for sharing Whoppers with me. We'll have an annual Whopper Fest and think of you. :)
Thank you for pan-browned dumplings with gravy and sauerkraut. YUM!
Thank you for sharing your love of reading and word games with me.
Thank you for all your little crafts you’ve gifted me over the years. I still have so many of them and will cherish them forever.
Thank you for your amazing son, my dad, who made my life possible and continues the legacy of you and your values.
I could go on and on. . .
And last, but certainly not least, thank you for my dimples! I cannot count how many times in my life I have heard “I love your dimples” and I always tell people they came from you to dad to me.
I know you are with God, grandpa, great grandma, great grandpa and so many others that went before you. Rest in peace. I love you forever.
Jack and Judy Beinlich
October 15, 2020
We will always remember dear Eleanor and how she cared so deeply for her loved ones. We loved how she would always remember to ask about how everyone was doing. She shared especially close bonds with Judy's mom, Dottie and Jack's dad, Rich. They would huddle together at family gatherings and chat and laugh, probably solving all of the world's problems. To have lived and loved as she did was certainly a blessing. She was someone special and we will cherish our memories of her always. Rest in peace, Eleanor.
Love, Jack and Judy