Eloise L. Stewart, age 88, of Crofton, Nebraska, died on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, South Dakota.
Funeral services are 10:30 AM, on Monday, July 26, 2021 at Congregational Church of Crofton with Pastor Christina Driver officiating. Burial will be in the Crofton City Cemetery. Visitation is from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, on Sunday, July 25 at the Wintz Funeral Home in Crofton. Visitation continues one hour prior to the funeral at the church.
Pallbearers are Patrick, Daniel, Rick Stewart, Travis Allvin, Aaron Gutgsell and Dean Zimmerman. Honorary pallbearers are Melanie, Emily, Mia Stewart and Allison Landers.
Eloise Laree Stewart was born February 17, 1933, outside of Verdel, Nebraska to Frank and Leone (Beck) Shanek. Eloise attended Niobrara High School where she took “Normal Training” which would allow her to be a teacher upon graduation. She graduated in 1950 and that fall, started her teaching career in a small country school west of Niobrara. Her next stop was at the Herrick School District northwest of Crofton. While teaching there, she met the love of her life, Vern Stewart. After a brief courtship, they were married on June 10, 1952. They lived at the 2 Bar Ranch with Vern’s parents, Rob and Hilda Stewart until moving to their own farm northwest of Crofton in 1955. Eloise was a very hard-working “farmhand”, helping with chores and raising chickens and having a large garden. She also continued her teaching career at rural schools including East Star, West Star and Tewsville. In 1966, she began teaching Remedial Reading at Crofton Elementary. Four years later, she began her first of 20 years of teaching first grade. She loved teaching students how to read and seeing the “Aha” moments in their eyes. Eloise had her teaching career interrupted by the birth of her two sons, Mike and Kelly. If having a family, teaching and helping with the family farm weren’t enough, she also took many night classes and summer classes. She eventually earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Marty College.
Eloise and Vern loved to bowl and were in partner leagues as well as individual women and men’s league. Eloise won several bowling awards. Vern was a member of the Elks Lodge in Yankton and Eloise enjoyed attending lodge activities with him. She also loved spending time with family, friends and neighbors. Vern and Eloise were members of the Crofton UCC Church, where Eloise was very active in the Sunday School Program and Ladies Aid. She also belonged to the International Reading Association, the National Education Association, The Nebraska State Education Association and the Crofton Education Association.
Eloise is survived by her sons, Mike (Diane) Stewart of St. Peter, MN and Kelly (Deb) Stewart of Norfolk; grandchildren: Melanie Stewart of Omaha, NE, Patrick (Allison Landers) Stewart of Minneapolis, MN, Emily Stewart of Omaha, and Daniel Stewart of Crofton; one great-granddaughter, Mia Stewart of Minneapolis; brother, Don (Hannelore) Shanek of Castroville, CA; sisters-in-law, Lucille Engebretson of Council Bluffs, IA and Eileen Stewart of Crofton; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Vern on November 5, 2011; sister, Willa Dean (Woody) Pease; brother, Jack (EllaMae) Shanek; sisters-in-law, Evelyn (Elmer) Zimmerman and Lola (Raymond) Smith; and brothers-in-law, Russ Engebretson and Richard Stewart.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorials to the Congregational Church of Crofton, 412 W. Main St, Crofton, NE 68730.