Eleanore's Story

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Eleanore (Nana) Luise Taubenberger passed away in North Oaks, Minnesota at the age of 94 on Sunday, November 9, 2014 with her family by her side. She was born on January 21, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York to Max and Luise Kiessling. Eleanore's parents each immigrated to America from Germany and together they owned and operated a German bakery in Brooklyn and then later in Queens, New York. In 1937, Eleanore graduated 2nd in her class of over 750 students from Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, the school is still in operation today. As is evident by her high school yearbook, Eleanore was one of the most popular students in the school and her friendships with girlfriends Dorothy and Florence were legendary. In 1941, Eleanore received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics from Pratt Institute. After receiving her degree, Eleanore went to work for the Schrafft's restaurant chain where she was responsible for planning, designing and implementing the chain's daily menus in 34 restaurants in the greater New York City area. She was an early pioneer for women in the workplace as she held a management position at a time when it was not common for women to do so. She met her husband of 68 years, Hans Taubenberger, in 1941, at the church they both attended. They were married on March 15, 1944 while Hans was on military leave from the U.S. Navy and just before he shipped out to serve in the war against Japan. Although Eleanore was on a solid career path with Schrafft's, when the war ended and Hans returned home to New York, she left her career and the comforts of city life behind and embarked on a life's journey to Jonesport, Maine with Hans in 1947. She never looked back and embraced the challenges of starting a new life with Hans and raising a family. Their first child, a daughter named Lina, arrived in 1948, a son Peter in 1950, and a son Michael in 1953 soon joined a growing family. Two more sons, Eric and Leif, came in 1960 and 1961 respectively. Her love for her children was never ending.

Eleanore was very active in the local chapter of the Eastern Star, the Literary Club and the Girl Scouts. Once the children were self-sufficient, Eleanore became determined to breathe new life in the Peabody Memorial Library and rolled up her sleeves to reinvent the moribund library into a vibrant and essential center for the community showcasing local musicians and artists while providing much needed children's programming and community meeting space. Her dedication was later recognized with a prestigious Maine award for her years of volunteer service to the library. In 2007, the Taubenberger Wing was added to the library in her and Hans' honor.

Tending her gardens with Hans was another passion of Eleanore's. Hans and Eleanore built their "home in the woods" in 1972/73 and it soon became their paradise. Eleanore would often remark, "We are so lucky. God put us in the most beautiful place on earth." Over the years, she and Hans cleared land, planted numerous flower beds and gardens and tended over them for over 40 years. One of Eleanore's greatest joys was when family members came to visit and she could show them the fruits of their labor. It didn't matter if it was spring, summer or fall, they always had flowers in bloom and the homestead showed much love. In 1970, the first of nine grandchildren was born, Rachel, Lina's daughter. Rachel subsequently gave her grandmother the name Nana and that is what Eleanore became to be known as in the years to come.

Eleanore is survived by her five children: Lina, Peter, Michael, Eric and Leif; nine grandchildren: Rachel, Alison, Lucy, Nathan, Tanya, Cristina, Katiana, Max and Sean; two great grandchildren: Lance and Christian; Lina's partner: Bernie; three daughter-in-laws: Marina, Kristen and Maggie; three nieces: Cynthia, Lydia and Kathy; one nephew: William; and Tigger, her beloved cat. Eleanore was preceded in death by her husband, Hans and younger sister, Viola.

The family would like to extend a very special, heartfelt thank-you to everyone at Waverly Gardens for the tender and loving care and attention given to Nana over her 13-month stay at this wonderful facility.

A memorial service will be held in Jonesport, Maine sometime in 2015. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Peabody Memorial Library, P.O. Box 210, Jonesport, Maine 04649.
Published on  November 29, 2014
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