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Eleanore McDonell

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McDonell, Eleanore M. 1920-2013

Eleanore was born in Marathon, WI on December 29, 1920 to John O. Fischer and Ella Buchberger Fischer, one of 13 children. She graduated from Wausau High School in 1939. In 1942, she married James J. McDonell, her childhood sweetheart and lifelong love. During WW II she accompanied him to army bases in Texas and Oklahoma, and afterward they gratefully returned to Wisconsin, to the lakes and woods that they loved.

She worked at Wausau Insurance and Franklin School. Eleanore was a member of St. James's Church and then St. Michael's Church in Wausau. Eleanore and James were an energetic team for organizing many years of Boy Scout activities at St. Michael's. She loved children, books, birds, rivers, and hot fudge sundaes. But especially, she loved to travel with any or all of her family members, to any or all destinations, always eager for new experiences.

She is survived by: her children Kathleen, Seattle, WA; Pat (Chris Burk) Eugene, OR; Jim (Barb) Woodbury, MN; John (Cindy) Petersburg, AK; and Bob (Vanessa) Wausau, WI; grandchildren Ethan (Pauline) Albright, Alissa (Patrick) O'Toole, Kari (David) Doctor, Rena and Logan McDonell, and Ian McDonell; great grandchildren Tyler O'Toole and Skylar Albright; four siblings in Omaha, NE: Barbara VanWynsberghe, Marie Jacobsen, Bob Fischer and Jim Fischer.

She was preceded in death by her husband James, grandson Sean Callahan, and siblings: Norman, Clarence, Howard, Charles and John Fischer; and Dorothy Smith, Lorraine Rhyner, and Dolores Estey.

In her final years Alzheimer's disease stole away so much, but never her joy for life, or our deepest love, for a remarkable woman. Eleanore passed away peacefully in Springfield, Oregon on February 27, 2013 at the age of 92, where she had resided for the last 6 ½ years.

Family and friends are invited to a celebration of Eleanore's life to be held on Sunday May 19 at Sylvan Hills Park Shelter, Wausau. Reception begins at 10:00 am, the service begins at 11:00 a.m.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from May 11 to May 18, 2013
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