ELEANOR A. POPOVICH â nee IHNAT
Eleanor passed away on Nov 20 with her family beside her after battling dementia for the last 6 years or more. She was at home with the assistance of Center for Hope Hospice as well as her faithful caregiver Helen Poc and fortunately she was still able to remember her family â Gail Skryha and her husband Michael and their twin daughters, Tristen and Lauren and her daughter Karen and her son Trevor. She was surrounded by much love and support over the last few years â and just in April was able to celebrate her 90th birthday with a house full of her friends from church and the hospital, the neighborhood and family â¦ the smile on her face to see everyone was "priceless" because at that point she was not getting out any longer and we are grateful that the party was able to come to her.
Eleanor was born in Carteret in 1928 and suffered the untimely death of her mom at age 2 which left her in the loving care of her maternal grandparents. She graduated high school, went to work at the Prudential Insurance Company in Newark NJ and found a way to make a transatlantic voyage to England and France with a girlfriend to tour and visit some friends who were stationed there from the war. This was a very special voyage for her â and one she was proud to have taken. She met the Popovich family while visiting in the summers a family member who lived across the street. She met Paul after befriending his sisters and they married in 1955. They had a daughter, Karen and 15 months later another daughter, Gail. They bought some property and built a brand new home in Clark, right next door to Paul's sister, Marge and her family and not far from Paul's brother Fred and his family.
Eleanor raised her family there and was a Troop Leader for the Girl Scouts and involved in St Paul's Church in Rahway. As her daughters got older she learned to drive and took a part time sales position at Hahne's in Westfield. She enjoyed that very much and then took a full time position at L'Oreal in Clark in the Production Dept where she met many more friends and worked sometimes long hours. After retirement at age 65 she volunteered at the Rahway Hospital Gift Shop and rose to the Vice President of the Women's Auxiliary â¦ logging in excess of 25,000 hours as a volunteer until her retirement last year after 25 years of service helping to raise money for scholarships and the hospital.
Eleanor was lucky to keep up her schedule after her diagnosis with the help of Joe Precipio who drive her to the hospital each week, Henry Varriano who helped her get to church every Sunday, her neighbors who looked in on her and her friends who played cards and always kept in touch â she was very blessed and cherished her time with her grandchildren â she helped to care for her grandson Trevor when he was in grade school and they formed a special bond and her twin granddaughters were just as special and also our "angel" granddaughter Shannon who went to heaven at childbirth. Eleanor was always eager to help others and also to keep her long standing friendships â¦ her parish family, including Father Ros meant so much to her and she helped with rummage sales, coffee hour and readings as well as the presentation of the Gifts. Her family appreciates all the love and support she received in return and is grateful that she is a peace at last.
Life Celebration by Gray Funeral Home, Westfield, on Sunday from 3 to 6 pm. Funeral services will be 11 am at Church Of The Good Shepherd in Rahway, with entombment to follow at Woodbridge Memorial Gardens. Donations in lieu of flowers by be made in her memory to The Center For Hope Hospice, 1900 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076