Eloise Mobley, 90, Lake City

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2008

Eloise B. Mobley, 90, Lake City, died on Feb. 18, 2008, at the Mission Nursing Home in Mission, Texas, after a brief hospitalization at the Rio Grande Regional Hospital in McAllen, Texas. Eloise, a &8220;snowbird,&8221; had been enjoying her usual winter residency at the Alamo Country Club, Alamo, Texas.

She was born in Austin on Oct. 15, 1917, to Oscar and Berdine Tuftee. The family moved frequently over the years between Austin, Lyle and Albert Lea, finally settling in the latter. She attended Albert Lea High School where she and her husband, Claude, met in their senior year. They graduated together in 1935 and eloped to Iowa in 1938.

Eloise received a teaching degree from Winona State University in 1937, earned her bachelor of science in 1971 and her master of science in 1973. Beginning with her student teaching at Pickwick School in Winona County, she then taught in various Freeborn County rural schools until she and Claude moved from Albert Lea to Lake City in 1945, when he assumed the managership of the Gipson Lumber Yard. Not missing a beat, she immediately began teaching at the rural Eggenberger School in Wabasha County and then at Central Point School in Goodhue County. From 1948 through 1982 Eloise taught fifth- graders at Washington, Jefferson and Bluffview Schools in Lake City.

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A dedicated teacher for 47 years, Eloise was involved in professional organizations as well as civic, church and social activities all her life. She and Virginia Redding began the Lake City chapter of the Camp Fire Girls, she was on the board of the public library, sustained membership in the Order of the Eastern Star, serving for a time as Worthy Matron, and worshipped at St. Mark&8217;s Episcopal Church and later at the United Methodist Church. As a retired teacher, she held memberships in Retired Educators Association of Minnesota and South Eastern Retired Educators Association of Minnesota.

As a winter Texan she belonged to the A.C.C. Garden Club, Zodiac Book Club, the A.C.C. Investment Club, St. Mark United Methodist Church of McAllen and for a time tutored the children of migrant workers.

Good at games, Eloise was a formidable Scrabble player, loved the challenge of bridge, worked the daily crossword puzzle in pen, took up bingo in Texas and, most recently, learned to play pinochle. She was a whiz at Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

The last few months of her 91st year brought her particular delight. Her Oct. 15 birthday was celebrated with an Opera House at the Lake City Country Club and again with a November party in Texas. Between those events, she attended the wedding of her granddaughter. Fun-loving and gregarious, Eloise was fortunate to see or hear from many in her vast network of friends and family in the course of these festivities.

Eloise is survived by her daughter, Jacquelyn Cronin, of Woodbury; Jacquelyn&8217;s significant other, Richard Burton, of Scandia; granddaughter, Cassandra (Mario) Gomez and great-grandson, Aidan of Woodbury; brother, Rollin James Tuftee; favorite cousin, Merle Kiel of Sun City, Ariz.,; and cherished nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Church, Lake City, 213 N. Oak St., at 11 a.m., Saturday. Memorials may be offered to the Lake City Education Foundation, the Lake City Public Library, the United Methodist Church or the donor&8217;s choice.