Delores J. Eshleman, 88, of Laurinburg, NC, formerly of Aledo, IL, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2019 at her home. A service to celebrate her life will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Aledo. Burial is in the Viola Cemetery. There is no visitation. Memorials may be made to the Mercer County Historical Society or the Alternatives for the Older Adult in Moline. Fippinger Funeral Home in Aledo is in charge of arrangements and online condolences can be made at www.fippingerfuneralhome.com.
Dolores Needham was born in Peoria on May 18, 1931, the only daughter of Dewey and Mabel (Guthrie) Needham. She attended grade school in the two-room schoolhouse in Gilchrist and delivered newspapers on her two- mile walk back to her home. She attended Viola High School where her lowest grade (B+) was achieved in Home Economics. Upon graduation, she was recruited to work at the National Bank of Aledo. It was while working at the bank that the new head of the Guidance Department at the Roosevelt Military Academy walked into the lobby. Dee introduced herself to Captain Philip Eshleman and many dates over five-cent cups of coffee followed. They were married on November 3, 1962 at College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Aledo. She would enjoy 51 years in the family home directly across the street where she was married.
She shared similar interests as her husband and was a force behind his diverse pursuits. They restored multiple homes in Aledo and spent many hours refinishing furniture acquired at local auctions. Her patience was tested many summers when her kitchen was overtaken by her husband’s bees while packaging comb honey. She spent many cold weekends at fall festivals in the region selling Eshleman’s Clover Honey. More pleasurable moments were enjoyed at the family’s cottage overlooking Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. Despite her Home Economics grade, she was an excellent cook, baker and homemaker. Her sons remember freshly baked cookies always being available after returning from school. She took special interest in providing fellowship to the elderly in her church and community at-large. She enjoyed attending Broadway shows, listening to live Dixieland jazz and conversation over a good cup of hot tea.
She became the primary care provider to her husband, the former Guidance Counselor at Aledo High School, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1989. She was tireless in his care and extremely protective of his privacy.
She instilled in her sons many of the qualities of her Scottish heritage: thrift, charity, gratitude, humor and a spirit of fierce independence.
Left to honor her memory are two sons: Philip and his husband, Dr. Robert Dyer, of North Carolina and Bart of rural New Boston, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant brother, Stewart, and her husband.