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OBIT: Eleanor Thilges

Eleanor Thilges departed this earth on September 25, 2022 at the Bird House Hospice Home in Iowa City. Mass of the Christian Burial will be 10:30 am Friday at the Divine Mercy Catholic Parish – St. Cecelia in Algona. Visitation will be 4-7 pm Thursday at Lentz Funeral Home in Algona, with a 7 pm Rosary. Burial will take place in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in St. Joseph. Mass will be livestreamed via Divine Mercy’s YouTube page

Eleanor entered this world on November 16, 1923. She was the third child of Nick and Anna (Schmalen) Bormann.

Eleanor attended St. Joesph School’s and was in the second high school graduating class of 1941. After high school she attended the American Institute of Business (AIB) in Des Moines. She was recently recognized at AIB as one of it’s oldest graduates, prior to it’s closing. After graduation, Eleanor worked at the Capital in Des Moines and then returned to the St. Joe area, working at the Livermore State Bank.

On February 19, 1946, Eleanor married the love of her life, Albert Thilges. They farmed near St. Joe. After Albert’s death in 1981, Eleanor continued to manage the farm. This year at the Iowa State Fair, Eleanor and her family attended the recognition of the farm being in the family 150 years (Heritage Family Farm). Eleanor and Albert became the parents of seven daughters and one son. Eleanor was involved in many community activities. She was a member of the St. Joe & St. Cecilia School Board, the Catholic Daughters of America, 4H leader, active member of the American Cancer Society, leading many Relay for Life teams and volunteered many hours at the Kossuth County Regional Health Center. Eleanor was the editor of the Centennial Edition Saint Joseph Parish 1876 – 1976. She diligently researched the history of the area and of her family. She had a strong interest in genealogy, before it was popular. Eleanor was able to visit Europe, highlighted by visiting the original Bormann home in Luxembourg and attending the elevation of Daniel DiNardo to cardinal in 2007. She was a lifelong learner, trying her hand at golf and enhancing her knowledge by taking classes such as computer, Luxembourg and sign language.

Eleanor was also an avid quilter. She belonged to several quilters guilds and made well over 200 quilts. She expressed her creative side by picking complimentary colors and patterns to produce great blanket of comfort and beauty. Her many quilts were distributed among family and friends to be enjoyed and treasured for years to come. Every grandchild, great grandchild, and great great grandchild received a baby quilt and each grandchild has a wedding quilt even if they haven’t yet married. She also donated quilts for local fund raisers.

Eleanor enjoyed gardening always having a flower and vegetable garden. She definitely had a green thumb.

Left to remember Eleanor are her children: Charlene Erpelding of Phoenix, AZ, Paula (David) Meyer of Denver, IA, Michelle (Mervin) Foell of Sheffield, IA, Maribeth (James) Ahrens of Kingsville, TX, Lynnette (Dale) Kenne of Coralville, IA, Geralyn (Mark) Quinn of Solon, IA and Joel (Michelle) Thilges of Ames, IA, 19 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, 2 step great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren and 1 step great great grandchild. Brother, William “Bill” (Lois) Bormann and sister Virginia “Jeanne” Laubenthal, sister in laws Bernice Thilges, Gertrude Bormann and Helen Bormann

She was preceded in death by her husband, Albert, daughter Marcile, son in law, Robert Erpelding, sibling Alfred Bormann, Lorene Frideres, Maxine Knecht, Cathleen (Kit) Thilges, James Bormann, and Ralph (Dick) Bormann. Parents Nick and Anna Bormann.

Thanks to the staff of The Bird House and Iowa City Hospice, who cared so lovingly for Eleanor and her family.

Memorials can be made to University of Iowa Retinal Research in lieu of flowers.

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