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Eleanor Wirtz

1929 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Eleanor Wirtz Obituary
Eleanor L. "Ellie" Wirtz

West Des Moines

Eleanor Leedham Wirtz "Ellie" passed away Friday, November25, 2011, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at the West Des Moines United Methodist Church with interment at Jordan Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be 5 to 7 p.m., Monday at McLaren's Chapel, 801-19th Street, West Des Moines.

Born on October 18, 1929, in St. Louis, MO, she was the daughter of the late Harry K. Leedham and the late Lola Brandenburg Leedham, and had one brother, Robert Kennington Leedham.

Ellie is survived by daughters, Cynthia Byrne, Susan Turner, Emilie Katherine Shriver; and sons, E. Keith Wirtz and William Wirtz; ten grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

While growing up in Missouri, Ellie was active in academics and extra-curricular activities at Webster Groves High School before earning an Art Scholarship to the University of Iowa in 1947. She quickly became a steadfast Hawkeye fan and devoted member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, both of which brought her joy throughout her life.

After her marriage Ellie raised five children but always found time to utilize her many talents for the glory of God through numerous activities at her beloved United Methodist Church in West Des Moines, the city where she lived most of her adult life. She was active in bridge clubs, PEO, and genealogical research (Society of Mayflower Descendants). Ellie was a gracious hostess, holding numerous neighborhood luncheons for the ladies of "Fourteenth Street." An accomplished scholar, she also earned a Master's Degree, and worked for the City of West Des Moines Water Works until she retired in 1994.

No one was a stranger to Ellie. Her home and heart were open to all, even the numerous stray animals her children tended to bring home regularly. Ellie will be missed by all whose lives she touched, and is now at peace with her Lord and Savior.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Animal Rescue League. Online condolences may be made to


Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 27, 2011
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