Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Eleanor Shimeall is 100 Years Old!


Last updated 6/21/2023 at 10:49am

Eleanor Euwer Shimeall was born June 18, 1923 in western Kansas to Elmer Euwer and Mary Courter Euwer. She had an older brother and younger sister, both now deceased.

In eighth grade, she met Clark Shimeall and decided he was the one for her! And she made it happen – they were married in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. When she told her father that they wanted to be married, he said that at 19 she was too young and should finish college. Always a determined woman, she told him they would simply cross the state line and get married in Colorado, where she could marry as young as 18. Her father, being a wise man, relented and they were married in the family living room.

Clark and Eleanor moved around the country, to Chicago and Florida as he prepared to go overseas, before he shipped out in 1944. She went back to college, majoring in Foods and Nutrition, eventually graduating in 1973 from University of the Pacific in Stockton.

When Clark returned in 1945, he signed on with Ohio Oil Company (later called Marathon Oil) as a petroleum geologist. They lived all over the west, in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nebraska, Wyoming, and eventually moved to Marathon headquarters in Findlay, Ohio. During this time, they had a daughter and three sons; a fourth son was born while they were stationed in Guatemala from 1958 to 1963.

After moving back to Findlay, Clark eventually left Marathon to become a professor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. During these years, Eleanor used her leadership skills to head up the local chapters of League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, and eventually became involved in Solar cookers, using an oven designed and made by Clark. She eventually authored a Solar cookbook which is still being used by new Solar cooks all over the country.

In 1988, after years coming to the desert for hiking and camping, Clark and Eleanor moved permanently to Borrego Springs, where they volunteered at the Anza-Borrego State Park and got involved in the community. Eleanor was eventually elected president of the Borrego Water District Board and served over 10 years in that capacity.

In 1996, they built the first permitted straw bale house in San Diego County, so now have room for visits from six grandchildren and eleven great-grands.

Clark died of emphysema in 2018 but Eleanor has carried on with her interests, making hand-made cards with a local group each week and playing bridge at the Senior Center during the six months of winter in Borrego.

After suffering a small stroke in 2022, she still loves having family and friends visit. Every morning as she has breakfast on the patio, she is heard to say, "Another beautiful day in Borrego!"

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