Eileen K. Dendinger
Nov 27, 1921 – Jan 24, 2017
Preceded in death by husband, Dr. Bill Dendinger; daughter, Ellen Marie Dendinger. Survived by daughter, Willa Raybould (Dr. Michael) of Leawood, KS; son, Bill Dendinger (Debbie) of Papillion, NE; grandchildren: Ryan Raybould (Brooke), Dr. Jillian Eileen Raybould (Michael Staples), Jordan Raybould, Dr. Allison Raybould, Bret Raybould, Jennifer Kaipust (Mike), Will Dendinger, and Malaika Dendinger; great-grandchildren: Rhett, Beau, Mara, and Shakon.
The family will receive friends Friday, Jan. 27th, from 5pm to 7pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, with VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm at the church. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Saturday, Jan. 28th at 11am, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Interment, Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Eileen K. Dendinger was born November 27, 1921 to John and Catherine (Whalen) Doyle in Naper, Nebraska. Born the youngest of four children, she was named Kathryn Eileen Doyle but was always called Eileen. She grew up on a farm and prided herself on being a “farm girl” capable of milking cows, herding cattle, collecting eggs, and riding horses. She graduated from high school, and by age 15 she had already assumed the role of teacher. In a one-room schoolhouse, she was responsible for educating grades K-12, often teaching students bigger and older than she.
Although she dreamed of being a journalist, her budget only allowed her to attend classes for nursing school. With this plan in motion, she moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where she attended Creighton University’s Affiliated Nursing Program at St. Catherine’s Hospital. Always caring for others, she quickly discovered that she had both a talent and passion for nursing. She developed many friends at St. Catherine’s and became close to the Sisters.
During her early nursing days, she met the love of her life, Dr. William Michael Dendinger. He immediately was smitten with her and asked her out many times. She, however, repeatedly refused until finally on a rainy evening, she agreed to a ride home. Soon after, their love story took off, and they married on October 25, 1952. Over the next five years, their family grew, and they had three children together – Ellen Marie, Willa Michelle, and William Michael. She retired from nursing to raise her children but spent countless hours with her husband Bill, who was the physician for numerous sporting teams, including the Creighton University Bluejays basketball team. This time spent by his side fostered a lifelong love for sports, particularly for the Bluejays. In 1968, Bill passed away unexpectedly, and in order to support her children, she returned to her passion of nursing.
She spent several years as head floor nurse before being promoted to head of discharge planning and social services. She also wrote the first-ever manual for Infection Control at Midlands Community Hospital. Ever devoted to her vocation, she continued to work until her 80th birthday.
Though always dedicated to nursing, she had many hobbies, including reading the newspaper, solving word puzzles, and praying the rosary three times a day. She remained a loyal Creighton basketball fan and attended all but a handful of basketball games over her 60 years as a season ticketholder. She also loved watching NBA games and going to Omaha Royal baseball games with her best friend and sister, Hannah Doyle.
Always most important to her was her family. She particularly loved the times spent with her daughter Willa (Mike), son Bill (Debbie), seven grandchildren, Ryan (Brooke), Jillian (Michael), Jennifer (Mike), Jordan, Alison, Bret, Billy, and three great-grandchildren, Beau, Rhett, and Mara. With them, she enjoyed boating and fishing in the Ozarks, watching her grandchildren play soccer and basketball, and hosting family dinners. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.