Eleanor  Heessel

Obituary of Eleanor Heessel

Eleanor Lucille Lea Heessel -- Her life Remembered.

Eleanor Lucille Lea Heessel, a resident of Lake Worth, Florida since 2001, age 100, passed away on August 4, 2017. Eleanor was born on November 6, 1916 in Diller, Nebraska, United States near Fairbury, Nebraska.


[All arrangements have been entrusted into the care of the Lakeside Memorial Chapel Family, "Where Every Life is Cherished & Every Family is Treasured" at 6427 Lake Worth Road, Greenacres, FL. 33463]

Eleanor is the daughter of Edward Richard and Gertrude (Loock) Henrichs of Diller. She was the third of four sisters.  She had older sisters of Helen and Lois, and sister Madeline was the youngest daughter of Edward and Gertrude.

During the turn of the century, automobiles were becoming very popular. Edward (Ed) Henrichs, from the Luke family and through his own salesmanship, acquired numerous small Ford automobile dealerships banks and  in the area surrounding Fairbury, Nebraska. Regrettably, during the depression of the 1930s all those assets were virtually all lost.  Subsequently, Gertrude and Ed divorced, Ed separately and Gertrude and the daughter all moved to California. Prior to the family moves to California, Stanley G Lea and Eleanor Henrichs had dated. Actually Stanley drove to California and literally brought Eleanor back to Fairbury.

Eleanor Henrichs married Stanley G Lea, March 6, 1936. (Since Eleanor was born November 6th and Stanley was born on April 6th, so the wedding had to be on the 6th. In fact their first born child, Dianna, was born only a few hours short on December 5th.)

Stanley G Lea established Modern Furniture when he bought out a used furniture store on the west side of D Street across from the Jefferson County Court House. From the marriage, Eleanor and Stanley had four children: Dianna Lea Evenson, Cylesta Lea Peters, Jeffrey G., and Chad A. Lea.

Throughout the years, while she was married to Stanley, owner of Modern Furniture Store, Fairbury, Nebraska, 1945-1980+,  Eleanor became American State Agency Administrator President, and District Vice President United Methodist Women; Sunday School superintendent Methodist Church, Fairbury; Vice President School Board Fairbury Public School Board, 1956-1962; board member Girl Scouts United States of America, 1950-1956. She was District Manager Field Enterprises (World Book Encyclopedia), Chicago, 1966-1980.

All four of the children moved on.  Dianna went for a time to Nebraska Wesleyan University where Dianna met her husband Richard Evenson of Soldier, Iowa.  Cylesta moved out to Greeley Colorado and attended Colorado State University with her then husband Gregg Hutson of Fairbury. And Jeffrey (Jeff) and Chad after graduating from Fairbury High School began attending the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UNL) in 1970 and 1971 respectively.  Jeff went to study electronics engineering and Chad when on to study architecture and both went on to graduate with bachelors's degrees.

In the early 1980s, after deciding to retire the Modern Furniture store, Stanley, only a week later, suffered a sudden major stroke. Eleanor took over the duties of selling rest of the business items and eventually the Modern Furniture building. Eleanor and Stanley G Lea continued to live in Fairbury for a time as Stanley was rehabilitating somewhat from the stroke and Eleanor worked as Fairbury Library resource person at the Fairbury Public Library, 1982-1985.

Since Stanley had a life-long battle with diabetes, Eleanor and Stanley moved to Lincoln in the later 1980s because of husband Stanley's health.  Eleanor became job coordinator at Blue River Area Agency on Aging, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1985-1987.and board member of Operation ABLE, Lincoln, 1987-1992, National Grandparent Program, Beatrice, Nebraska, 1985-1987. She rretired in 1987.  Eleanor was also a member of the Toastmasters (Vice President public relations Lincoln 1992-1994).

Some years after Stanley G Lea had died in Lincoln, Eleanor then married William H. Heessel, May 28, 1997.  She had met William H. Heessel (Bill) through St. Marks Methodist Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  After living in Lincoln for years, Bill retired from his position in Lincoln and Eleanor and he moved to Lake Worth, Florida which they both did until their passing.