Eleanor Lucile Upthegrove (Armstrong), 104 of Superior, passed away peacefully at New Perspectives on Wednesday, April 14.
Eleanor was born June 20, 1916, in Ashland, WI, in a farmhouse on Beaser Avenue. She was the eldest child of five, to Samuel McGinley Armstrong Jr. and Mabel Selvig Armstrong. Eleanor attended school in Ashland, graduating from Normal School at 18 with a license to teach.
Eleanor met the love of her life, Lyman Upthegrove, also from Ashland, and they were married in 1937. They both enjoyed sports, camping with friends, and a love of Lake Superior. Her early married years were interrupted by Lyman being sent to war, while she stayed at home tending to 3 small children, with two in diapers.
After the war brought two more children and a brief move to Duluth, MN, before settling in Superior, WI. Lyman became the owner of Bingham Hardware, and she was often called Mrs. Bingham, but much preferred Mrs. Upty. During these busy family years, she served as the president of the Blaine Elementary School PTA, while having children in junior and senior high school, and college. Eleanor also served Hammond Avenue Presbyterian Church in jobs ranging from basement lady (cooking), scout mom, to church Elder.
Eleanor always demonstrated her love for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren by caring and lending a hand when needed. During lean years, she made sure “everyone was fed and had clean clothes.” This includes being a wonderful cook and baker, making the best bread and pies.
Eleanor and Lyman were both big sports fans, following and attending games of the local teams. But it was a house divided. Eleanor was a lifelong Vikings fan in a sea of green and gold. It has often been said in the Upthegrove household she was going to live to see the Vikings win the Super Bowl. At 104 she tried to hold up her end of the bargain.
After Lyman died in 1993, Ellie, as she now preferred to be called, could be found living at the cabin at Deep Lake, Iron River from early spring until late fall. She loved the outdoors, the trees, the sunshine, and a trip around the lake on the pontoon boat. A voracious reader, she was always with a book or the newspaper. It was typical for Ellie to finish two crossword puzzles every day, and was determined to stay active in her garden and book clubs to keep and make new friends. Something she was always especially proud of was voting in every election.
Ellie spent her last years at New Perspectives in Superior. While there, her gentle manner endowed her with a gift to make many friends. The family is grateful for the special care shown to Ellie by everyone, especially the aides.
One of the jobs Ellie took very seriously was being the Matriarch of the Armstrong and Upthegrove families. Her loss marks the passing of two entire generations.
Eleanor is survived by her children John (Cyndi) Upthegrove of Seattle, Mike (Shane) Upthegrove of Port Wing, Jim Upthegrove of Iron River, and Bill (Barbara) Upthegrove of Townsend, MT. She also has and loves 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her husband, Lyman; daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Roger Erola; by her younger siblings, Samuel Armstrong, Violet Bitzer, Grace Grehn, and Ray Armstrong; and her parents.
Instead of donations, you could honor her by looking up her favorite poem: (I know a) Green Cathedral by Gordon Johnstone and Carl Hahn. A service is planned on Friday, June 11 at 11 AM at United Presbyterian Church in Superior.
Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N 19th Street, Superior, WI is assisting the family with arrangements. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.downsfh.com.