Gloria J. Eller, 92, passed away peacefully on May 14, 2020. She was born to Paul and Marie (Jeschke) Stumer on August 22, 1927, at her parents’ farm home near Wood, SD. She attended 8 years of Grade School at Lookout (country) School, followed by 4 years at Wood High School. Because of the long drive from the farm, she boarded with a family in town during the school year and enjoyed working as a clerk in the grocery store her senior year. Gloria graduated as her high school class valedictorian.
After high school, she attended Chillicothe Business College in Missouri where her classes included 11 months of secretarial training and 3 months of office machine operations. Upon graduation, she accepted a job offer from Bill Spears, Sr. with Spears & Spears Real Estate in Onida, SD. She arrived by train and Mr. and Mrs. Spears provided her room and board in their home. She made friends quickly with other young single working women in town and after a few casual dates with several local boys, she began seriously dating a young man who impressed her because he “tipped his hat” when introduced to her. She and Elton were married at her parents’ country home near Wood on Aug 23, 1948, the day after she turned 21. They enjoyed an extended honeymoon trip of 3 weeks to the west coast where they explored the beauty of California and Oregon before returning to Sully County to begin their life together as business partners, husband and wife, and parents to their two children, Edward Lee, born Feb 12, 1952, and Eileen Faye, born June 2, 1955. This was the life Gloria chose for herself, to be a devoted farm wife involved in running the business and loving and nurturing her family. She was a very successful woman in the truest sense of the word.
Gloria’s Christian faith was instilled at a young age and her love for God remained strong throughout her lifetime. She was baptized as an infant and confirmed into the Christian faith at age 13. She was a charter member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Holy Cross LWML of Onida, holding various offices through the years. She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and confirmation classes, always ready to be of service to her church wherever needed.
Gloria joined the Progress Extension Club in 1957 and was chosen as Fine Lady in 1986. She also served as chairman of the Extension County Council. In addition to extension club, she enjoyed attending the Onida Wednesday morning ladies’ coffee club from 1961 to 2012. Gloria always took an interest in business opportunities and was an original stockholder of Oahe Grain Corp. An annual event near and dear to her heart was co-hosting with Elton the Saturday morning alumni breakfast during the Sully County Fair for seven years at their farm home before it moved to the Phoenix Center.
Through their 59 years together, Gloria and Elton shared a love of traveling the country to attend flea markets where they especially enjoyed meeting new people and forming lasting friendships.
Grateful for having had the privilege of sharing her life are her son Edward, daughter Eileen, grandson Drew Sack (Michelle) and their 5 children, Isaiah, Natalie, Noelle, Caleb, and Benjamin of Nazareth, PA, granddaughter Ashley (Kasha) and son Bransyn of Rapid City, SD, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Carl, her sisters-in-law Cleo Scott, Alma Matzen and Jackie Stumer, her daughter-in-law Brenda, and her husband, Elton.
Due to the Coronavirus situation, a service is not planned. A graveside service will be scheduled later this summer at the Onida Cemetery.