KINGSFORD - Eleanor "Babe" Aberly, 97, of Kingsford passed away on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at the Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountain.
She was born on May 3, 1915, in Iron Mountain, daughter of the late Domenic and Elisa (Busetto) Contarini, and was the last of 15 children. Eleanor attended the Iron Mountain Schools until, as a teenager, she left with her family for Chicago. She was a 1933 graduate of Waller High School.
After attending Comptometry Business School in Chicago, she and her family joined her sister, Victoria, in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. She worked for the Union Hardware Co. from 1936 to the time she returned to Iron Mountain with her family in 1950. She was employed by the Ford Motor Co. and when Ford left town, she worked for the Kingsford Chemical Co. and later for the Peninsula Oil Co.
She married Calvin Aberly on May 22, 1954, and he preceded her in death on July 8, 1975.
In 1976 when the St. Vincent de Paul Society rented a small store to serve the people of the area, along with June Izzo, president and Ralph Izzo, vice president, Eleanor was their treasurer. She served the Society in several capacities including interviewing needy applicants and retired only recently. It was an important and rewarding segment of her life.
At her parish, American Martyrs Catholic Church, she was in charge of bingo for many years and was a member of the church's St. Rita Circle and its Guild. She belonged also to the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary and to the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Women's Club.
Sports and outdoor activities were integral parts of her life since childhood. She rushed home from school to play outdoors as a child, and as she grew older, took part in tennis, softball, skiing, golfing, and bowling. She and her husband Cal fished, hunted, and camped together for many years.
Upon joining the Oak Crest Golf Club in Norway, she became a champion golfer. On Sept. 15, 1995, the Iron Mountain Daily News reported that "Eleanor at 80 years young registered the golf tournament's best net score at 65." The tournament saluted her for her participation in the 18 hole, 60 and over women's tourney.
She leaves her nieces and nephews, Gloria (George) Boyce of Kingsford, Elizabeth Fagan of Boston, Gerri (Everett) Doehr of San Diego, and Patric Bolognesi of Huntington Beach, Calif. She also leaves her grandnephews, John Boyce of Sunland, Calif., James Boyce of Everett, Wash., Tom Boyce of Rochester, Minn., and Bill and Dave Doehr of San Diego; and grandnieces, Elizabeth Dillman of Lake Geneva, Wis., Lisa Walts of Boston, and Sandra Doehr-Waters of San Diego; and special friend, Jason Julian.
She was preceded in death by her sisters, Mary, Ida, Emma, Victoria and Louise, and her brothers, Lawrence and Ernest, and eight infant siblings.
Eleanor was a beloved member of her family. Her grandnieces and grandnephews enjoyed many an Easter Egg Hunt in her spacious yard and summer picnics with games for all. She and Cal were surrogate parents for several young lads, teaching them to fish and enjoy the woods.
The funeral Mass will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at the American Martyrs Catholic Church in Kingsford. Fr. Joseph Gouin will offer the Mass of Christian Burial.
Burial will be in Iron Mountain Cemetery Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her memory to the Dickinson County Loan Closet/Cancer Care Unit.
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.