Eleanor Coomber, a radiant presence in our lives, passed away on August 9, 2023. Born as Eleanor Ruth McKinnon on May 10, 1942, in Fort Erie, Ontario, she was the daughter of Audrey Elizabeth (England) and Alexander Allister McKinnon. Shortly after her birth, Eleanor’s family returned to their roots in Saskatchewan, where she spent her formative years on the family farm in the outskirts of Regina. Despite living in a farmhouse without running water or access to electricity, Eleanor cherished the memory of her father lifting her up to press the generator’s button that illuminated their home.

Eleanor’s educational journey encompassed attending Davin Elementary, Central Collegiate, and Regina College, ultimately earning her B.A. degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Initially, she pursued a career in social work in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, before embarking on graduate studies in guidance and counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was during her time in Madison that she crossed paths with James Elwood Coomber, whom she married on June 11, 1966. Together, they relocated to Moorhead, Minnesota, where Eleanor devoted herself to caring for their children, Sarah and Matthew. Additionally, she actively participated in a variety of community organizations and pursued her passion for interior design. Eleanor’s efficient management of the Concordia College Reading & Writing Conferences, led by her husband, exemplified her dedication and love for learning.

Beyond her achievements in design and volunteering, Eleanor was celebrated for her green thumb and culinary skills. Is there anything this multi-talented woman couldn’t do? She was an avid reader, cherishing the company of books throughout her life. Eleanor’s enduring love for literature, combined with her involvement in book, hardanger, gourmet, and church groups, contributed to her intellectual engagement and constant pursuit of knowledge. Her warm heart extended even further to embrace six adored feline companions and a loving canine friend over the years.

Eleanor’s zest for life manifested in her exploration of the world through travel. Fond memories were forged from journeys to Europe, Japan, and various destinations across North America. Winters in Green Valley, Arizona, offered respite and served as a backdrop for cherished moments with her beloved husband, Jim. As we adapt to the void left by Eleanor’s departure, we find solace in envisioning her amidst the heavens, effortlessly igniting the stars with a grand celestial switch.

Eleanor is survived by her devoted husband, Jim, and their cherished children, Sarah Ellen Coomber (Jon Suomala) of Moorhead and Matthew James (Sarah Allison Coomber) of Davenport, Iowa. She leaves behind a legacy in her grandsons, Daniel Coomala and Alistair Coomber. Predeceasing Eleanor were her parents, her sister Lynda (Gary) Skelton, and her brother Bob (Elsie) McKinnon. A celebratory memorial service will be held at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral in Fargo on September 1, 10 a.m., with visitation scheduled for August 31, 5-7 p.m., and on September 1, from 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests contributions to be made to Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, Dakota Boys & Girls Ranch, or the charity of one’s choice. The family extends gratitude to Touchmark at Harwood Groves, Fargo, and Sanford Hospice for their exceptional care. Arrangements are entrusted to Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home in Fargo, North Dakota. Remembrances and condolences can be shared at http://www.hansonrunsvold.com. For a glimpse into Eleanor’s extraordinary life, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/Eleanor-memories.

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