Eunice Marcella Nygaard was born on the farm on October 17, 1922, in Pierpont, SD, to Issac & Henrietta (Nelson). She had 3 brothers, Harvey, Jerome, & Raymond; and 3 sisters, Mildred (Mid), Fern, and Irene. She was baptized and confirmed at Skudesnes Lutheran Church. She graduated from Pierpont High School in 1940.
On September 10, 1949, Eunice and Ray Draeger were united in marriage at Skudesnes Church. They were blessed with 4 children: Jerry (Joyce), Lee (Cathy), Mark (Terry), and Wendy Heidtke (Joel); plus 6 grandchildren Kevin (Mindy), Daniel, Melissa, Eric (Erica), Andrew Heidtke (Elizabeth) and Beth Boche (Jason). Eunice took great pleasure in her 2 great granddaughters: Lily and Addison. After 46 years of marriage, Ray passed away in 1995.
Eunice was Valedictorian of her graduating class. She attended college for 1 year to earn a country teaching license and taught for 2 years in a 1 room school house. In 1943 she went to Tacoma, WA. She got a job at a sash & door factory and then as a typist in the Navy shipyards. The USO was a big part of her life in Tacoma. In 1946 she went back to Pierpont. Then in 1947 she & her cousin, Ann, headed to Milwaukee. She worked for the Telephone Company until 1949. Eunice was also a homemaker, a special education aide and a church secretary. Eunice & Ray lived in Baraboo, WI, St. Louis, MO, West Allis, WI, South Milwaukee, WI, & Greenwood, SC. For the past 21 years, Eunice lived in a house she loved in Oak Creek, WI.
The family traveled all over the US, camping most of the time. Eunice & Ray loved taking cruises all over the world. Eunice enjoyed dancing, sewing, playing the piano, being a Sunday School teacher, quilting, making ornaments, singing in the church choir, volunteering at church and other organizations, being part of Women’s Club, and doing crossword puzzles. Her great joy was playing bells in church for the past 40 years.
Eunice went to heaven to go dancing with Ray on January 30, 2018.
For all that was good in her 95 years, and for God’s faithfulness to Eunice and to us, we say Thanks be to God!
Visitation will be held Sat. Feb. 10 from 12-2pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (2507 5th Ave. South Milwaukee), followed by a celebration service at 2pm. She will be laid to rest at Forest Hill Memorial Park on Monday, February 12 at 10am.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church Project UpLift, USO or Milwaukee Rescue Mission.