Eleanor C. Mach
February 2, 1926 – September 29, 2020
Eleanor Christine Berg was born on February 2, 1926, to Tom and Helga Berg, along with her twin sister Evelyn Victoria in Wahoo, NE. Eleanor grew up on the farm with her sisters Elsie, Genevieve and Violet (Evelyn died in infancy). She and her 3 sisters would perform at local county fairs singing along with their Dad who would accompany them on the mouth-harp and guitar. They also sang together at their church, Marietta Presbyterian harmonizing the hymns beautifully.
Eleanor attended the public school in Mead, NE. After high school she attended 1 year at Luther College in Wahoo, NE, attaining a special teaching license that allowed her to teach in a one-room school house during World War II. She had many sweet stories of growing up on the farm. Many of these stories involved a neighbor boy, Jerry Mach. She and Jerry attended grade school together and spent many hours playing together with their siblings. In 5th grade Jerry’s family moved to Omaha, but Jerry never forgot Eleanor.
Although they did not talk for many years, when Jerry returned from World War II he told his father he was “going to find Eleanor Berg and marry her”. Unbeknownst to him, Eleanor had become engaged to another man. Just a few weeks before her wedding, she and Jerry had a “chance” meeting one Saturday evening in Wahoo. They spent the evening talking and laughing. Eleanor was so struck by this handsome young man, she knew her life had changed. Within the week she had called off her wedding and one year later on September 15, 1948 she and Jerry, the childhood sweethearts, were married. On their honeymoon while driving to South Dakota, Jerry put his hand on hers and told her “Now I have someone to take care of.” Eleanor would say he kept his word on this, he always took care of her.
Together they raised four children – Evelyn, Steve, Rick and Chris. Eleanor stayed home with the children staying very busy with the family. Making clothes for the children, helping out up at the school in every way possible (room-mother, PTA Meetings, sewing costumes for various plays and pageants, etc.) as well as being very active at their church – St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Jerry and Eleanor both had a deep faith in God and raised their children to do the same. Through the years she worked various part-time job to help with expenses. One of these jobs included a very successful tenure as an Avon Lady in the 1960’s. In 1969 she went to work at Mutual of Omaha as a Stenographer. She retired 19 years later as the Manager of the Word Processing Department.
Upon retirement, she and Jerry loved to travel. Their favorite vacation was taking cruises with family members. They took more than 30! While they enjoyed traveling, their greatest love was their family. Most of their time was spent with their children and grandchildren. Their house was with FILLED with pictures of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The grandchildren LOVED playing together at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Climbing the tree in the backyard, sliding the younger grandkids down the laundry shoot and making “haunted houses” in the basement. Many precious memories were made. Eleanor used to say it was more important for the kids to have fun than to worry about messes.
The grandchildren all admired and respected their grandparent’s marriage. No cross words were spoken, no arguments…and they ALWAYS held hands. One day one of her granddaughters asked her “Grandma, what’s the secret to having such a happy marriage?” to which Eleanor responded “Oh Honey, it’s easy. Just marry someone who adores you.”
Preceded in death by son, Richard and grandson, Joey. Survived by husband, Gerald E.; children: Evelyn Navin (Jim), Steven Mach (Linda) and Christine Schlesiger (Dave); grandchildren; great-grandchildren; and daughter-in-law, Valerie Mach.
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, October 2nd from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, October 3rd, 10am, Holy Cross Catholic Church (4810 Woolworth Ave.) INTERMENT: Calvary Cemetery. Memorials will be directed by the family.
To view a live broadcast of the Vigil, Mass and Graveside Services, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.