Eleanor Elizabeth Gass, 98, died Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at Sunshine Gardens West in Durango, Colo. A Funeral Service was scheduled for Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church. Pastor Gary Harpel officiated. Burial to take place at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango.
Mrs. Gass was born December 2, 1914 on a farm near Vandalia, Mo., the daughter of Claude and Elsie Caldwell. She attended Nadine School one mile from her home. On the farm she was expected to help grow the corn, wheat and oats.
Her family boarded the school house teacher for many years; therefore, she decided not to become a teacher when she saw the enormous work load. In her formative years, she and her family were very involved in church and revivals. Her family moved to Vandalia when she was 12 to begin attending high school from where she graduated.
She worked as a telephone operator during her junior and senior high school years and continued after. She knew her future husband, Lawrence, most of their life. They were married on June 16, 1935 in Vandalia. They worked at Ely-Walker Garment factory, Eleanor in production, and Lawrence in shipping and receiving.
Two of their five children were born in Missouri. The young family moved to the Fort Lewis Extension (old campus) in 1943. In July 7, 1944 Lawrence enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and Eleanor and family returned to Missouri. Lawrence was discharged in 1945 and they again moved to the Fort Lewis Campus. Lawrence worked in experimental crops and woodshop and Eleanor was a homemaker.
The family moved to Durango in 1949. Lawrence started Square Deal Builders and Eleanor worked for Singer Sewing Machines. She then went to work for Johnson Jewelry for about 35 years – retiring at 74 years old.
Eleanor was an active member of First Baptist Church in Durango. Her passion was the Whispering Pines Bible Camp which was associated with First Baptist Church. She spent many hours helping and working to give kids a Christian influence through the camp. She was a member of the Gideon’s International Auxiliary and the Durango Sewing Club.
She is survived by Sylvia Livingston (daughter) of Claremore, Okla., Joanne Armstrong (daughter) of Durango, Larry Gass (son) of Vallecito, Colo., Gary Gass (son) of Aztec, N.M., Viola Dominguez (Friend and caregiver) of Durango, nine grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence after 68 years of marriage, and her infant daughter Bonnie Kay Gass. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Whispering Pines Camp C/O First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3307, Durango, Colo. 81302, or Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 2072, Durango, Colo. 81302