Eleanor Esther Schmidgall
Silverton - Eleanor Esther (Kuenzi) Schmidgall passed away peacefully at home near Silverton on November 13, 2020 attended by her loving family, 13 days before her 98th birthday.
Eleanor was born on November 26, 1922 in Silverton, Oregon to Herman H. and Emma (Baller) Kuenzi, the first of their two children. She joined five half-sisters from Herman's first marriage. She grew up on her parents' dairy farm, where she met Robert Schmidgall. They were married in February 1941 and celebrated 77 years of marriage before Robert's passing in 2018.
After living in Illinois for five years, Eleanor and Robert and their two children moved back to the Silverton area where their other eight children were born. In 1952, they purchased a farm, where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Eleanor was devoted to her faith and church community.
Eleanor worked hard alongside Robert on their Illinois dairy farms and in the home in Oregon as the family grew. She was a wonderful cook and baker, also canning and freezing many varieties of fruit, vegetables and jams. Her marionberry pies were a particular favorite. Along with caring for her large family, she took special dishes to people in her church community when they were ill. She was also an excellent seamstress, sewing for her children and grandchildren.
Eleanor found great pleasure in flowers (especially pink) and birds. Her large vegetable garden always included a profusion of blooms. She enjoyed watching the weather and change of seasons, keeping track of when birds returned in the spring. She never tired of watching hummingbirds at the feeder.
Eleanor loved the outdoors, and enjoyed traveling to the coast and mountains with Robert and the family. She and Robert hiked many trail miles in the Cascade Mountains with their last hike being to Todd Lake, a favorite destination, when she was 85 years old.
Eleanor was predeceased by her devoted Robert, her parents, her brother and four half-sisters. She is survived by her ten children - Sharon Klopfenstein, James (Pamela) Schmidgall, Wilma (Ernest) Westerlund, Lois Young, Thomas (Lucy) Schmidgall, Mary Schmidgall, Christine Layman, Benjamin (Joan Sherbina) Schmidgall, Lorene (Philip) Kenney and Susanne (Tim) Bailey. She is also survived by 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Special thanks to Eleanor's exceptional and loving caretakers who assisted her for several years, and to Serenity Hospice for easing her final days.
Private services have been held at the German Apostolic Christian Church. Weddle Funeral Service, Stayton, attending.
Published in The Statesman Journal from Nov. 17 to Nov. 21, 2020.