Cover photo for Eileen Goodnature's Obituary
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Eileen

Eileen Goodnature

d. May 30, 2018

Margaret Eileen Goodnature (Reller) September 12th 1925 - May 30th 2018. Our mother was born September 12, 1925 on her parent’s family farm just northwest of Ellendale, Minnesota to Herman Earle Reller and Lillian Nelson Reller. She grew up with her 3 sisters during the Great Depression. She worked very hard to help her parents with farming. Calvin Coolidge was president when our mom was born. His term ended in 1929; just around the corner would be the Great Depression. Eileen said she never felt the effects of the depression due to living on a farm and having enough to eat. Then the first of many tragedies struck Eileen's world at just sixteen. Her mother died suddenly at home while in the presence of Eileen and other family members. She would later in life endure the death of her husband, oldest son, granddaughter, and all three of her sisters. Those events very likely steeled her for the long life she was to have and her amazing ability to deal with life’s changes. Eileen attended a small-town school in Ellendale, Mn. While attending, she met David (Paul) (Bucky) Goodnature with whom she would later marry and raise their four sons. David, who was ahead of Eileen in school, took a fancy to her and asked her out on a date. As their romance blossomed, he often took her dancing at Monterey dance hall in Owatonna, MN. Mom really loved to dance, our Dad, not so much! The local and world atmosphere in those days, with daily talk of war, must have been explosive. In December of 1941, World War II broke out. David and Eileen were 17 and 16 at that time. One of our mother’s favorite memories was on Christmas Eve in 1941. David gave her a gold locket that she cherished throughout her life. He asked Eileen to marry him that evening. Six months later on April 25, 1942, David and Eileen wed. David and Eileen, with great optimism, joined the War effort. David enlisted in the Army Air Corp while our mom would later become one of the famous “Rosie Riveters” (airplane factory workers). Eileen stayed on the farm with her infant son Steven until David’s second leave in June of 1943. Eileen and Steven then traveled by train with David to the metropolitan air force base in Van Nyes Calif where he was stationed. Memory/quote: “I hate train rides,” our mom would blurt out whenever a train was mentioned. Our mother often talked about the lengthy train rides with her new born in tow. Trains were the long-distance mode of travel for soldiers and their families during that time period. Upon their arrival in California, David & Eileen became part of the greatest generation. David as an Air Force instructor and Eileen as a proud member of female factory workers, constructing fighter planes (p-38 fighters) for the war effort. She also worked on the Air Force base doing office work. Memory/quote: “First Fourth of July to Santa Monica beach and both of us got sun burned to death.” Their military experience would cement lifelong patriotism in them and eventually in their family. One of their sons, Steven, was born during the war. Their second son, Wayne, was born shortly after the war ended. Both Steve & Wayne would serve honorably during the Vietnam war. When Eileen found out she was expecting baby Wayne, she and David decided it would be best if she returned to her family’s farm in Minnesota. David left military service after the war in December of 1945, returning home to Minnesota and to his wife and two boys. Dave went to work for the phone company (North Western Bell) and completed over 30 years of service. The family eventually settled in Austin where they raised their family. They purchased a new home until after Jim and Greg were born. James & Greg both had accomplished careers in the telecommunication industry. In 1955, the family built and moved into a new home until after Dave’s passing in early 1993. In the fall of 1993, Eileen launched a lifelong dream. She moved to a warmer climate, sold the family home, and started a new adventure in Phoenix, Arizona. Their wonderful love for each other created 39 decedents, four sons, ten grandchildren, twenty-two great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren. On a personal note, our mom and dad were truly part of the “Greatest Generation”, a term coined from Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation”. It is believed that their generation survived World War II by doing what they felt was the right thing, regardless of the potential consequences. It is truly astounding when you contemplate that they survived the worst depression in history followed by the most violent conflict in history. They stuck together through thick and thin! Raising their children with the same tenacity, values, and greatness that their generation is known for. Watching my mother go through the experience of old age has been very painful at times, but no one that I am aware of has accomplished this feat with more bravery than she did. She has chosen herself when to move from one stage of life to another. It was mom that choice when to quit driving, when to leave her home and seek assistance, when to enter assisted living, and even when to move to a nursing home. Our mom had a long and fulfilling life in Austin. Other than the weather, she liked the community. She always felt her main purpose was raising her four boys. However, from time to time, she added local employment to her busy life. She worked on Main Street at the Wallace’s clothing store, Sterling Pharmacy, and at the Big Steer Restaurant, where she once met and served breakfast to movie star Steve McQueen. Moms favorite trip would far and above be Alaska. She spoke of their Alaskan adventures often. Mom and Dad loved fishing, snowmobiling, their lake cabin, and spending time with friends. Our mom loved her Catholic heritage and was an active church volunteer, both in Austin and Phoenix, Arizona where she retired. She is survived by sons Wayne & Catherine Goodnature and his children, Heidi Goodnature, Kennedy Thompson, Riely Marsolek & Mikaela Cypher, Kynlie. Susan Howe (deceased), Kaitlan & Dolan Wagner, Jack, Mason. Lauren Heiny, Joshua and Jordan Howe, Son, Greg & Julie Goodnature & their children Mike & Charity Goodnature, Jackson and Jayden. Dan and Ellen Goodnature. Teresa Bruce, Marleigh and Tatianna Punt. Sara & Conrad Moline, Ryann, Alexis, Madeline, Charlie. Son James & Lois Goodnature & their children Michele & Brad Norton, Samantha & Cody McCollough Jaylynn, Jack. Derek Norton. Mark & Kimberly Goodnature, David, Mathew. Son Steven who’s (deceased) but survived by his children Ryan & Karen Goodnature, Alex Goodnature, his Children Logan, Portia, Steven. Eileen was preceded in death by husband David, son Steven, granddaughter Susan Howe, sisters Iloe Drake, Madeline Tews, Barbara Goldsberry. A Prayer Service will be held 10 am on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at Mayer Funeral Home, with Father Jim Steffes officiating. Friends may call from 8-10 am on Thursday at Mayer Funeral Home. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery.Condolence may be online at www.mayerfh.com

Service Information


Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery
4th Drive SW
Austin MN 55912


Public Viewing

Thursday, June 7 2018
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Mayer Funeral Home
600 2nd Street NW
Austin MN 55912


Funeral Service

Thursday, June 7 2018
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Mayer Funeral Home
600 2nd Street NW
Austin MN 55912

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