Eileen Renaker, 98 years old, from Mt. Sterling, IL, passed away January 28, 2019 where she resided at Adams Pointe in Quincy, Illinois. She was born in Hersman, IL, February 23, 1920 to Anna Mae (Jones) and Homer D. Elliott. Her first name was Doris, but her parents called her by her middle name, “Eileen” to eliminate confusion, since her younger cousin was also named Doris Elliott.
She married Homer L. Renaker June 9, 1943 in Newport, Rhode Island at Trinity Episcopal Church. Homer was in the Navy and his leave had been canceled. Eileen went by train to her wedding, along with her mother, her sister and future mother-in-law. Although the wedding was held after her father had passed away, she felt honored that a Navy Chief gave her away in marriage. After a short time living together in Boston, the train trips continued for the first years of marriage during the war, with Eileen living in Hersman while Homer was at sea.
She is preceded in death by her husband Homer (1995), and two sons, William ( 2005) and Michael (1959).
Her surviving family includes her daughter, Laura (husband James Kraft), Vero Beach, FL; daughter-in-law, Pamela Renaker, Ingleside IL; 3 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. Also surviving, a niece and nephew and families, a deceased nephew’s family, as well as several cousins.
Eileen was a self-appointed advocate for Mt. Sterling and Brown County. She was fiercely proud of her roots, loved Illinois and vowed to stay in that area. She attended all 12 years of school at Hersman.
Working for room and board in private homes, she graduated from Western Illinois University majoring in Home Economics, and was a member of two honor societies.
After her first year of teaching in Benson IL, the rest of her teaching career was in Brown County, at both the high school and North grade school. She influenced many lives.
Eileen and her husband were inspirational in their devotion to the community. They were members of the Presbyterian Church of Christ. They were active in the Historical society, volunteered, and enjoyed, the library, service organizations, local camping clubs as well as claiming bragging rights about the benefits and the wonderful citizens of the county and surrounding area. She was a member of the ladies’ sewing club for 54 years! This was a group of women dedicated to mending and making their clothing and supporting each other; it was an original sisterhood. Her dedication to the community’s best interest sometimes made her stances seem a bit strong to some, but her honesty and opinions came from a warm and caring heart.
Demonstrating strength and courage in numerous life challenges, she set an example for many with her ability to maintain a positive attitude.
A Commemoration of a Lifetime will be held at 2:00 pm, Friday, February 15, 2019, following visitation at 1:30, at Hendricker Funeral Home Mt. Sterling with Rev. Richard Young officiating.
After the service, Eileen’s family will be receiving dear friends at Hagel 1891 Banquet Room until 5:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider donations to any of the following:
The Brown County Historical Society, Brown County Public Library Building Fund, or The
Mt. Sterling Presbyterian Church of Christ
Brown County Historical Society
Brown County Public Library Building Fund
Mount Sterling Presbyterian Church of Christ