Guest Column: In memory of Eunic Pagel—ACWW Illinois state president

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11720841197582.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘E.J. Pagel and his mother and community leader, Martha Eunice Pagel, who passed away Feb. 1 at 89 years old.‘);

Members of the Associated Country Women of the World are mourning the passing of one of its most beloved and well-known state presidents.

Martha Eunice Pagel was 89 when she passed away Feb. 1. She was born April 14, 1917, to Eleanor and Neil Gale of Burritt Township and grew up with sisters Louise, Fran and Dort. She graduated from Rockford High School in 1934 (same class as Mayor Ben Schleicher), married Charles E. Pagel, lived and worked in Rockford for years, then moved back to Burritt Township to farm and raise their adopted infant son.

Eunice was a 4-H club leader for 25 years and helped young ladies with countless prom and bridesmaid’s dresses. She taught sewing lessons at the Champion Park Apts. five years, worked as the bookkeeper at Schacht-Tuck Co. five years, and the Farm Bureau nine years. She was active in the American Field Service exchange student program and sewed dozens of international flags. She was on the cooking staff in the cafeteria at Winnebago High School for a number of years, and was later named Manpower Temporaries’ Secretary of the Year several times. She was a supervisor with Colonial Caterers 40 years, supervising at hundreds of events, including the Kentucky Derby 5 years.

Her talents for homemaking were only surpassed by her leadership abilities. The Illinois Homemakers Extension Association (now ACWW) elected her to three terms as vice president of cultural Arts and Textiles, then to a term as state president in 1987-1988.

She attended the international convention in Ireland, then reported on it to local chapters across the state of Illinois. The Rockford Register Star published an article recognizing her as a positive role model, and she was named a “Super-Senior” in 2001.

She was a lifelong active member of the Burritt Community Methodist Church on Highway 70 in Wempletown, where her life was celebrated Feb. 18. She loved plants, animals, children and rural living. She was always helping others, cheerful, optimistic, witty, and a solid source of moral support for everyone who knew her. She donated her body to science.

Another service is being planned for the Memorial Day weekend at the North Burritt Cemetery. Please send remembrances for future publication by e-mail to or contact the family. See also

E.J. Pagel is the press agent for the Rockford Libertarian Party.

From the Feb. 21-27, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!