Eleanor Ruth Pagel

Eleanor Ruth Pagel

Eleanor Ruth Pagel, 85, of St. Joseph, Michigan passed away peacefully on October 4, 2014 after a brief illness.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at Zion United Church of Christ, 9100 Third St., Baroda, Michigan officiated by Rev. Chris Noffke. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family on Monday, October 6, 2014 from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Starks and Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to Zion United Church of Christ in Baroda. Those wishing to sign Eleanor’s Memory Book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Eleanor was born on April 4, 1929 and grew up on a family farm in Sodus, Michigan. She was the youngest of the seven children of Adolph and Olga (Krieger) Schaenfeld. Like a large group of local farm couples, Eleanor Schaenfeld and Robert Pagel met at Junior Farm Bureau. They married in 1949 and began raising a family, which grew to include two daughters and two sons. Bob and Eleanor, affectionately called “Toots” by her many nieces and nephews, grew a wide variety of fruit on their farm, including strawberries, apples, grapes, peaches and cherries. They took great pride in their work. Eleanor also was diligent in keeping a neat yard and garden and was an excellent cook and housekeeper.

Bob and Eleanor enjoyed many wonderful trips together, including visits to New Zealand, Hawaii and Europe. They also were active leaders in their church, Zion United Church of Christ in Baroda. When Bob died in 1992, Eleanor never quite got over the loss. Over the years she saw her family grow to include 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Her family was her pride and joy, and she always loved a good game of cards with them. She was blessed to live a very full life and will be remembered as a tireless worker who loved her family above all else.

Eleanor is survived by her children: daughters Judy Draper and Mary (David) Francis and her sons: Robert (Diane) Pagel and David (Sue) Pagel. Her grandchildren: Jessica (Chris) Machiniak, Ann (Steve) Mooney, Jason (Erica) Pagel, Jeff (Heather) Pagel, Beth (David) Boven, Emily (Bryce) Franson, Ashley Pagel, Jeremy Pagel, Hannah Pagel and Nate Pagel. She is also survived by 14 amazing great-grandchildren.

Eleanor is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; and two brothers and two sisters. She is also preceded in death by her son-in law, Bob Draper, and an infant grandson, John Francis.