Eleanor (Ellie), 92, of Battle Creek, peacefully passed on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 in the comfort of her home, two days shy of her 93rd birthday. Eleanor Lucille Benner was born to Dr. George and Regina (Brodbeck) Benner in Milford, Illinois on May 24, 1926 and later raised in Woodland, Michigan. A 1944 graduate of Woodland High School, Eleanor went on to earn a degree in dental hygiene from The University of Michigan where she also formed lifelong bonds with her Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sisters. She began her career as a dental hygienist in Grand Rapids, MI where as a vibrant young woman she would fall for a dashing young man at the dance hall who would become her adoring husband of 53 years, Richard H. Ullrich, who preceded her in death in 2004. Married in 1950, Eleanor and Richard raised three children and made Battle Creek their home. Eleanor was a champion of learning, active in her children’s schools and volunteering her talents in leadership positions with the PTA and Camp Fire Girls. Eleanor and her husband were proud to contribute to the civic progress of Battle Creek, as local business owners, members of Riverside Country Club and Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. They cheerfully entertained great friendships and shared their joy of music, food and culture with family and friends. Both talented pianists, joined together their duets and serenades soared to the amusement of all those gathered around. Their second home in Green Valley, AZ was a favorite retreat for sunshine, golf and a community of friendships. Eleanor took great joy in gardening, learned from her mother and taught to her children, creating lush landscapes, beautiful blooms and fresh vegetables in her homes in Battle Creek and Green Valley. Eleanor is survived by her daughter Deborah and son-in-law Dick Hastings; grandchildren Jennifer (Jason) Burman, Erik Hastings, Meghanne Ullrich-Garland, Devon Ullrich; great-grandchildren Logan Garland, Landen Garland and Nicholas Ullrich ,nieces Judy (Everett) Fisher and Diane Benner Stone. She was preceded in death by her husband, daughter Cynthia Ullrich, son Richard A. Ullrich and grandson Nicholas Ullrich; her parents, brother George Benner Jr., sister-in-law Hope Benner, sisters Helena Lynch and Ella Everett, brother-in-law Eston Everett and nephew Philip Everett. A memorial service for Eleanor will be held 11:30 a.m., Monday, July 8, 2019 at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. In keeping with her wishes, cremation has taken place with final interment at Battle Creek Memorial Park. Memorial donations in Eleanor’s name can be made to Chapel Hill United Methodist Church or to The Humane Society of South Central Michigan. The family wishes to extend sincere appreciation for the many dedicated home health care and hospice professionals who aided her ability to happily remain in the home she loved. Arrangements by the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home. www.henryfuneralhome.org
Chapel Hill United Methodist Church
157 Chapel Hill Drive, Battle Creek MI 49015
Humane Society of South Central Michigan
2500 Watkins Road, Battle Creek, MI 49015,
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