Eleanor B. (Olson) Eye

Eleanor Eye was called to be with her Lord Jesus on September 12, 2017 where she joins her husband Ben.

Funeral services for Eleanor Eye will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM at Holmes Lutheran Church, 2139 Hancock Avenue in rural Clarion, with Pastor Rich Taylor officiating.  Burial will take place at Norway Township Cemetery south of Kanawha.

Visitation for Eleanor Eye will be held one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.

 Eleanor Beatrice Olson was born December 29, 1923 to Elias Olson and Bertha (Berdie) Wicks Olson at their home place near Kanawha, Iowa.  She was the sixth child of seven. Eleanor was baptized at Holmes Lutheran Church and was a life long member of the congregation.

She grew up on the family farm helping her mother with household chores and learned to cook and bake with a coal fired Home Comfort cook stove.  Eleanor became a skillful cook and baker. She did not enjoy laundry day, but loved to hang clothes outside on the line. She attended a one room schoolhouse 1/4 mile west, as did her brothers and sisters. Their family often hosted the schoolteacher, since their farm was close to the school.

Eleanor loved animals.  However, there was a buck sheep that would chase her and her sister when they went to the outhouse at night.  She also did not have a friend in a goose that would chase and nip at her heels. Most of all she loved the farm and the life that it held.

During the 1940’s, Eleanor and her younger sister, Genevieve found jobs with Northwestern Bell as telephone operators.  Their first job was in Ames where they shared an apartment. Eli and Berdie would come to visit and check on their girls.  Men were forbidden to stay in the all women building, so special arrangements had to be made for Eli.  City life appealed to the two young women and they began to wear make-up and nail polish.  Their father was strictly old school Norwegian and vehemently opposed to such worldly things, so the girls hid it from him as best they could.  Eleanor and Gen were transferred to Northwestern Bell in Des Moines and later to Denver, Colorado. Neither could drive, so they utilized the Greyhound bus system to get around.

After working in Denver, Eleanor and Gen came back to the midwest and settled in Minneapolis, still working for Northwestern Bell. They took ballroom dancing lessons and for entertainment, attended big band dances.

It was at one of these dances that Eleanor met the love of her life, Bennie Eye.

Eleanor and Bennie were married on June 21, 1952 at Eleanor’s parent’s farm and honeymooned in Colorado. They made their home in an apartment in Minneapolis where they both worked. Life took a turn for them when Eleanor’s father passed away suddenly. It was decided that Ben and Eleanor would move to the farm to help Berdie.

Eleanor cared for her mother while Ben took over farming.  It was not uncommon for her to prepare meals for 15 or so farmers during harvest and corn shelling time. In 1963, their only child, Lori, was born. She was dearly loved by her parents and grandmother Berdie.

They bought and continued to live on Eleanor’s home place. She loved her flowers and gardening. She had a large vegetable garden every year, canning and freezing her produce. At Christmas time, all of the family would gather at the farm for a huge meal. Eleanor would rise in the wee hours of the morning to put a large turkey in the oven and make preparations for the meal. She was an excellent cook; everyone looked forward to the gathering. The newest extended family members were initiated into the Norwegian heritage by being encouraged to try lutefisk. All were good about taking at least one bite! There was much visiting, laughing and sharing stories of the old days. Memorable times were had by all.

Eleanor was active in the Holmes Lutheran Church’s Home Circle, and was involved in many service projects as well as baking, serving, and clean-up for weddings, funerals, communion and meetings. She taught Sunday School for a number of years.

Later in her life, two granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Emily, were born. She was ecstatic to become a Grandma and loved the two girls with all of her heart. The love was reciprocated unconditionally.

Eleanor was an extremely generous and gracious lady and hostess. Visitors were treated like family and were always enticed to have coffee and fresh baked goodies.  Even in her last days with dementia, she still remained her gracious and generous self.

Eleanor is survived by her daughter Lori (John) Lutsch of Cedar Rapids, two granddaughters Kaitlyn and Emily, one sister, Genevieve Olson of Mason City and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Bennie Eye, brothers Ernest Olson, Orville Olson, and Melvin Olson, sisters Bernice (Joris) Severtson and Marjory Olson.

A special thank-you to Unity Point Hospice for their patience, understanding and comfort care.


Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Where: Holmes Lutheran Church
2139 Hancock Avenue, Clarion, Iowa 50525
Get Directions


Date: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 10:30 am
Where: Holmes Lutheran Church
2139 Hancock Avenue, Clarion, Iowa, 50525
Get Directions

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