Eleanor Onheiber, age 92, a resident of Coventry Village, in Madison, died at the University of Wisconsin Hospital on Friday, November 16, of heart failure and pneumonia. Two of her sons and her sister-in-law were with her in the sudden few hours of decline leading to her death.
She is survived by her five children and ten grandchildren: David (and Linda) Onheiber, and their children, Matthew and Katie Onheiber; William Onheiber and his children, Betsy and Bill Onheiber, Judith Onheiber and sons, Jason and Adam Dennis, Steven Onheiber (and Danette Robare), and their children, Keysha Onheiber and Brian Robare; and Michael (and Patrice) Onheiber and their children, Joshua and Miriam Onheiber, She had five great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law Sam and Maria Onheiber.
Eleanor was born on March 18th 1920, in Waupun, to Max and Lillian Winkel. She was a graduate of St. Agnes School of Nursing, and started her life long career as a registered nurse at Madison General Hospital in 1941. It was at the nearby Schwartz’s drug store and soda fountain, a Greenbush neighborhood social center, that she met a young GI, Jerome Onheiber (“Jerry”).
They were married in Marysville, California on February 20th, 1943. After the war they returned to Wisconsin, and made their home in Wausau where Jerry had a long career as a faculty member and academic advisor with the University of Wisconsin Marathon County Center, and Eleanor had a long career at Wausau Memorial Hospital as an OB-Gyn nurse. After her retirement, in 1975, she returned to part time nursing for several years at a local nursing home. After Jerry’s retirement in 1976 the Onheibers remained Wausau residents, but enjoyed winters in Santa Barbara, California and Green Valley Arizona. After Jerry’s death in 1989 Eleanor moved to Madison to be near family.
Together with Jerry, Eleanor was a long time member of Mount Sinai Congregation in Wausau. She was active in the University Womens’ League, participating in its many activities in support of the UW campus in Wausau. She was an avid gardener, loved travel, won several awards for her fabulous knitting and crocheting projects, and was a unbounded enthusiast of her favorite sports teams: the Milwaukee Brewers, the Green Bay Packers, and Wisconsin Badgers.
Eleanor was a loving and caring person, most especially to her beloved family, and cherished her relationships with people from all walks of life. She was grateful, as is her family, for the many kindnesses extended to her by Coventry Village of Wisconsin and its staff, and the Dane County Social Services COPs program, particularly her case managers at the South West Coalition for the Elderly, Tiffany Thompson, and Laura LaFleur. Their combined efforts granted Eleanor the independence and dignity she deserved in her declining years. The family also extends its great appreciation to the UW Hospital ER staff for their care and attention to Eleanor in every way, and to the family.
Funeral Services will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. and burial will follow at Forest Hills Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials in Eleanor’s honor may be sent to Coventry Village Scholarship Foundation, Mt. Sinai Congregation Wausau (general fund), or University of Wisconsin Marathon County Foundation -Jerome Onheiber Scholarship fund.
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