Described as giving, kindhearted, and spunky with even a little bit of a feisty side at times, Ellanor Dunne was a remarkable woman in every way. She lived an active life filled with countless experiences that enriched her journey, but nothing was better than sharing these things with the ones she loved most. A devoted family woman, Ellanor was blessed to witness her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who follow in her footsteps. She will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that will be a lasting treasure for generations to come.
It was great to be an American during the decade that is commonly referred to as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation was leading the way to new places while the assembly line made cars more affordable. America led the way with things like radios and washing machines, and prosperity was commonplace among the majority of American families. It was just as this decade was dawning that George and Fern (Argetsinger) Miller were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as winter began to descend on Somo Township, located within Lincoln County in Wisconsin in November of 1920. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Ellanor Amy drew her first breath on November 28th. She was the third of six children in her family as she joined her older sister, Leona, and her older brother, Bob, and was followed by her younger brothers, Emil and Jim. There was one additional brother, but he died as a result of an accident while a young boy. Ellanor’s father worked as a lumberjack while her mother was busy homemaker.
The prosperity of the 1920s gave way to the dark days of the Great Depression throughout the 1930s. Countless American families felt the strain, and the Miller family was no exception. Ellanor wore lots of hand me down clothes, but she made the best of it. The family made their way to Milwaukee where Ellanor attended school. The Millers were always close, and for the rest of her life Ellanor’s family meant the world to her. They enjoyed spending time together and could often be found rolling up the carpet to dance to the sounds of their player piano. Ellanor’s high school years were spent at Bay View High School beginning as a young girl of 12. Because she was so young, school was a major challenge. Ellanor didn’t complete high school as a result.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Ellanor’s introduction to the young man with whom she would write a love story that would span more than 68 years. His name was Edward Dunne, and he was two years her senior. Also a motorcycle enthusiast, he once offered Ellanor a ride on his motorcycle, and she jumped at the chance. Her brothers were less than thrilled with this, but it was the beginning of a lifelong journey together. They began dating, and over time they found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Ellanor and Edward were united in marriage. Edward worked at Allen Bradley Company, which allowed Ellanor to stay home and focus her attention on their three daughters, Patricia, Carol, and Judith.
For as long as they were able, Ellanor and Edward maintained an active lifestyle. They loved camping, and they camped all over the state with Mud Lake, Crooked Lake, the Wolf River, and Lake Mills being among their favorite destinations. They were still diving off the diving board when they were in their 80’s at their grandson’s house! With camping came fishing, and Ellanor was a passionate fisherwoman. She was an avid bowler as well as a golfer throughout her entire lifetime – even golfing up until a short time before her 94th birthday! Ellanor enjoyed music and dancing and played the piano as well as the accordion by ear without ever taking a lesson. When grandson, Daniel, visited her in Florida, they went golfing and Ellanor beat him soundly. While napping after his defeat, he was jolted awake by Ellanor playing her accordion right next to his ear, celebrating her victory. After Edward retired, they were snowbirds who spent several winters in Apache Junction, Arizona, and they also wintered at Indian Lake Estates in Florida a bit later. This was their lifestyle in the winter for 25 years, and the summers found them camping in Wisconsin. They enjoyed taking trips all over the country to visit their grandchildren. After 68 years, Ellanor was deeply saddened with Edward’s death. In fact, she was even a bit lost for quite some time.
Ellanor did continue to pursue some of the things she enjoyed. She went dancing twice a week, and it was there that she met a dance partner named Clarence Zeroth. They became friends, and Ellanor spent the last seven years of her life enjoying his companionship as they lived together. Her family appreciated her amazing cooking skills, and no one ever left her place hungry. Ellanor was especially known for her outrageous cookies that she generously shared with nearly everyone she met. She always gave two cookies to her mailman, which meant that he even stopped to check for cookies if he didn’t have any mail to deliver to her. Ellanor also brought her cookies to Al White, the piano player at bingo. She particularly loved being with her family including her grandchildren. She commonly kidded around with them, and they gave it right back to her, too. A time to remember was when she claimed that her grandson, Russell, mooned her around the pool, and he also tricked her into taking a ride on his motorcycle when she was in her seventies. Ellanor loved red cardinals, as the whole family did, and always said that it was Grandma Fernie watching over her loved ones.
With unending love for her family, Ellanor Dunne made life so much fun. She was competitive and active with a spunky side, too. Ellanor was fun-loving, and she loved saying things that caused others to blush. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she faced whatever came her way with a quiet strength and a graceful courage that were such an inspiration. Ellanor will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Ellanor A. Dunne died on June 7, 2015, at Willowcrest Care Center in South Milwaukee, WI. Ellanor’s family includes her children, Patricia Bartlett, Carol (William) Weidner, and Judith (William) Kumprey; brother, James (Patricia) Miller; special friend, Clarence Zeroth; 9 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; 13, great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends. Visitation at the Funeral Home Sat. June 13, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 11:45 a.m. Entombment Forest Home Cemetery. Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave (414) 744-5156, www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.
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