Like each of us, Eileen was unique. I doubt all of history has known anyone like her. She was not beautiful by the standards of Miss America contests, but she was exactly what God wanted her to be. When life treated her tough, she was up for the fight. As a daughter she was unwilling to accept the limitations her Depression deprived parents lived with. As a mother herself, she was proud as a peacock of her two girls, Sandy and Shelly who were born later in life than she'd hoped. As a sister, she was always hopeful family ties would be secure.
The life she led was not an easy one, but she managed to face it with hard work, boisterous laughter and a cigarette in hand. I don't know how many times she tried to free herself from an addiction to tobacco, but that challenge was never her's to win.
She could easily manage living in Milwaukee, but was equally comfortable making a home for her family near Willard, Wisconsin.
She kept her hair short, but curled, and her nails professionally manicured. Ford cars, especially red ones, cuddly cats, and buying gifts for her grandchildren were things that made her feel good.
The jingle of a casino's coins was impossible for her to resist and she had fun even when the machines were tight. She loved to travel and lots of folks enjoyed seeing the world with her.
For her, a healthy diet and exercise didn't begin to compare with having a cold beer with friends, swapping stories, and ordering a tasty meal. She claimed eating was impossible without dropping a few bites on her clothing.
When the new American Legion was built in Neillsville, she served meals to help pay for it and bought her own stool for the new bar room. It was "a place where everybody knew her name."
In the end, Pancreatic cancer defeated her, but not before she'd attended the one-room school in Braun Settlement for over seven years, joined her high school friends for roller skating at the Mile-Away, threw some strikes at the Greenwood Lanes, shouted with family at NASCAR races, placed a Korean War stone at the High Ground in honor of her husband (Chuck), had a bird's eye view of the world from a hot-air balloon and laughed loudly in far away places. Her sixty-eight years, were filled with more laughter than tears and before leaving this earth, she said her "goodbyes" surrounded by beautiful flowers and people who will never forget her. Somehow God just knew Eileen was the only sister my brother Don and I would ever need.
Submitted 2007 by
Stan Schwarze, brother of Eileen Myrtle (Schwarze) Krapf
In memory of Eileen Krapf were received from:
Pat Braun, Mary Cook, Mr. & Mrs. Duane Horn, Dolores Kenyon, Carol Mitt
Stan & Janet Schwarze,
Crystal Wendt and Mr. & Mrs. Allan Wire.
Carol Mitt--"Yes the cigarette in hand is how I remember her, standing outside the door of her work on Hewett. I'd toot the horn and she would wave, always with that great big grin."
Crystal Wendt--"Stan (You) couldn't have done a better job describing Eileen. Just in the short visit I had with her on the 4th -- She was a ball of Joy! She seemed like a kind of person who wouldn't let anything get in her way when she had things to do. With all that she had done in the last year or so it shows. We had talked about how teens back then would never consider to do the things they do today. If they would do something bad; the parents would know before they got back home, as the neighbors also watched over the kids."
Dee Zimmerman--"Thank you for sharing your memories of Eileen. I, as many others here in Neillsville, have said, 'But I just saw Eileen the other day, sitting at her desk, or having a cigarette by the doorway of Brunner's office and she waved as I went by.' She had that Olson spunk, which was easily recognizable and bless her heart for that as that same spunk had to have been what got her through those, what must have been tough, last days of her life here on earth."
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