Obits – Eleanor Sauer

Eleanor Sauer, age 96, died at Oak Terrace Senior Retirement Community in Gaylord, Minn., returning to her Creator on Monday, April 22, 2013. Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Gaylord. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, Minn., at a later date.
Eleanor Frances Sauer (“Ellie”) was born at home on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 30, 1916, in Owatonna, Minn., the third of four daughters born to Mary (“Mae” White) and Abbott Sawyer. She was baptized into God’s family at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Owatonna, and confirmed in her faith in April of 1929 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winona, Minn. Ellie graduated from Winona High School in 1934 and from St. Theresa’s College, also in Winona, in 1938, where she received teaching degrees in French and Latin.
On June 16, 1938, Ellie was united in marriage to Alfred von Rohr Sauer (“Von”), and the couple made their homes over the next 53 years in Chicago, Ill., Burlington, Wis., and Winona, eventually settling in St. Louis, Mo., when Von received a call to teach at Concordia Seminary. Von and Ellie were blessed with six children: Mary, John, Susan, James, Peter, and Rachel, raising them in the faith which sustained them throughout their lives.
While Von taught future pastors for the Lutheran Church, Ellie was first and foremost a loving and inspirational mother to her children and a devoted organic gardener since 1950. She often opened their home to provide a place of hospitality to Von’s students, and when her children were all in school, she began part time work at the Seminary library.
Her life-long love of learning led her to complete her Master’s of Library Science at Washington University, as well as to study several more languages, and when she retired from her last library position at Christ Seminary-Seminex, she became a Master Gardener at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and trained in Horticultural Therapy to minister to the elderly in Chicago and St. Louis.
When Von joined the saints triumphant in 1991, Ellie continued care-giving to her children as they needed her, moving to Waconia, Minn., in 1997, where she was a member of Faith Lutheran Church. In 2010, she moved into Oak Terrace assisted living in Gaylord, where she continued to be a blessing to those around her until her death.
Family members who will miss Ellie are children Susan (John) Feaster of Valparaiso, Ind., Peter (Sylvia) Sauer of Urbana, Ill., and Rachel (Fredric) Hinz of Gaylord; daughters-in-law Laura Sauer of North Hollywood, Calif., and Susan Sauer of Groton, Mass.; grandchildren, Julie Nigro, Mark Sauer, Paul (Dena) Sauer, Rebecca (friend Chad) Sauer, John (Eileen) Sauer, Peter Sauer, Patrick (Ronda) Feaster, Katherine (Chris) McMahon, Daniel (Jill) Sauer, Thomas Sauer, Katherine (Nat) Grim, Joshua (Jessica) Hinz, Molly (Elden) Kohn, and Seth (Kimberly) Hinz; great-grandchildren, Alyssa and David Nigro, Kayla Sauer, Tyler, Madeline, and Makenzie Sauer, Peregrin Feaster, Julian McMahon, Evan and Tate Sauer, Gretta, Margaret, and Torsten Hinz, and Matthias and Eleanor Kohn; sisters, Katherine Hardt of Winona, and Mary Margaret Kruse of Flagstaff, Ariz., and many nieces and nephews.
Ellie now joyfully reunites with her husband, Von, and children Mary, John and James, as well as her parents, her sister, Josephine, and brothers- and sisters-in-law, Philip and Elizabeth Sauer, David and Martha Sauer, Stanley Hardt and Wallace Kruse, in the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to await the resurrection.
Arrangements by Egesdal Funeral Home in Gaylord. Online obituaries and guest book available at Please click on obituaries and guest book.