Eleanor Z. Dostal, 93

Eleanor Z. Dostal age 93 of New Hampton, IA, died Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at New Hampton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Lawler, with Rev. Aaron Junge celebrating the Mass. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Friday, September 27, 2019, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler. Visitation continues an hour prior to the Mass at the church on Saturday.

Funeral arrangements are with Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory. Online condolences for Eleanor's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com

Eleanor Zephie Dostal came into the world on November 5, 1925, and the oldest of Joseph and Zephie (Bouska) Shileny’s four children, weighed just 3 pounds. Thanks to her grandmothers and parents, who fed her with an eye-dropper, she survived and lived a long, vibrant life.

She grew up on a farm near Little Turkey in a home where only Czech was spoken. Like most farm children, she had a variety of jobs on the farm — ranging from helping make breakfast to feeding pigs, cows and chickens to milking cows, which Eleanor admitted wasn’t her favorite job.

Her brothers enjoyed listening to baseball on the radio, and the Cubs and the Cardinals were their teams. When they were outside working, Eleanor would help her mom in the house and she’d also listen to the games and take down the “stats” for her brothers. That led to a lifelong love affair with the St. Louis Cardinals. Her friends and family believed she was the biggest Cardinal fan in all of Iowa.

She started her education at St. Wenceslaus Catholic School in Spillville, but because it was 14 miles away, she stayed with her Grandma Eleanor Bouska during the week, came home Friday with her parents and returned to grandma’s Sunday morning after church.

Eleanor didn’t speak any English when she started her schooling at the age of 5, but she caught on fast. After the third grade, Dad needed his kids to help at home so the Shileny children went to country school, and while they often walked to the school that was 1 1/2 miles south of their farm, Eleanor had fond memories of her dad picking them up with the sleigh and horses.

She often said the saddest day of her life was when her parents decided she wouldn’t go to high school, which was a common practice in those days, but Eleanor understood, for she was a child of the Great Depression.

When she was 17, she went to work in Cedar Rapids at the Wilson Packing Plant, where many of her friends worked and those that didn’t were employed at Collins Radio. She and her friends went to movies and many dances, and she did the same when she was home. One of her favorite memories was seeing the Lawrence Welk Band at the Inwood Ballroom in Spillville.

During World War II, she wrote scores of letters to servicemen, many of them who were family members and friends, and when the war ended, she began seeing an Army Air Force veteran named Joseph Edward Dostal, who was from the Little Turkey area. They loved to go dancing, bowling and the movies.

On June 8, 1948, at 8 a.m. no less, the two were married at St. Mary's Assumption Catholic Church in Little Turkey and the couple’s first home was in Waterloo before they moved to a farm near her parents. After their first daughter, Sandra, was born, the Dostals moved to Lawler and they welcomed three more daughters — Barbara, Debra and Laura.

Eleanor ran a tight, but fun, ship with her girls, and they remember well mom’s big garden, strawberry and raspberry patches, her seamstress ability and her great cooking and baking.

When Laura began kindergarten in 1962, Eleanor began to work outside the home — first taking a job at Meinertzs in Fredericksburg, but she soon landed a job as a cook at Turkey Valley High School. After several years, she became the school’s head cook, and many Turkey Valley students remember Eleanor’s outstanding lunches.

In 1985, her husband passed away, and although she was a widow for 34 years, she lived life to the fullest. After 28 years of making sure her “Turkey Valley kids” were well fed, Eleanor retired and said she “took life a lot easier.”

But it was a busy life. She loved playing bridge and euchre, and she took numerous trips to places like Branson, Las Vegas, and the “boat,” where she loved to play the penny slot machines. She visited the Czech Republic in 1995, 1998 and 2000, and she loved meeting relatives on both the Bouska and Dostal side of the family during those trips.

In 2007, she sold her house in Lawler and moved to New Hampton, but she remained active. She liked to say she was “spoiled,” for Janette Hendricks brought her communion each Sunday, Carol Costigan came to her house at least once a month to do her hair and Father Mark Osterhaus would also stop by and offer communion. Father Mark may be a Cubs fan, but Eleanor appreciated being his “Cardinal buddy.”

Eleanor was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Lawler for more than 60 years, and she served as the group’s president for six years. She also was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Lawler, where she was on the parish board for six years and a longtime member of the Parish Society.

She may have come into the world at a mere three pounds, but she packed a lot of life into her 93 years. Yes, her kolaches will be missed, but her daughters and their husbands, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and her friends will miss her smile, her ability to listen and the love she showed for everyone, no matter how rich or poor they were.

Eleanor is survived by her four daughters, Sandra (Dan) Scotten of Columbia, MO, Barbara (Jerry) Dostal-Dvorak of Decorah, Debra (Jeffrey) Rose of Kansas City, MO, Laura (Dale) Reicks of New Hampton; six grandchildren, Blake (Jocelyn) Suttie of Nazareth, PA, Amy (Bill) Myers of Cedar Rapids, Thomas Golden of Lakewood, CO, Brady (Tessa) Reicks, Kaylie Reicks, all of New Hampton; six great-grandchildren, Duncan Suttie, Oliver Suttie, Ella Winas, Harper Olsen, Marley Reicks, Miller Reicks; five step-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; One brother, Norbert Shileny of New Hampton; one sister, Mary Ann Kuennen of Lawler; one brother-in-law, Wes Dostal of Decorah and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband in 1985; a granddaughter, Melissa Reicks in 2003; one brother, Julius Shileny; one brother-in-law, Delbert Kuennen; two sisters-in-law, Loretta Shileny and Delores Shileny.

Eleanor will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111
Email: tribune@nhtrib.com

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