Reporting Esme Murphy
She was tall, blond, beautiful and wickedly funny.
Eleanor Mondale Poling filled every room she ever walked into. No matter how famous anyone else was around her, your eyes were drawn to her. She was born into a family of power and privilege, but she was always down to earth and friendly.
Those that knew her well say she was never happier than with her husband, the gifted musician Chan Poling, and their animals at their farm.
In a statement to family and friends, Walter and Joan Mondale talked of her “gutsy” battle with cancer. It was a battle she was always open and honest about. That honesty and that gutsiness will continue to serve as an unending inspiration to others.
Her passion for animals transcended everything for her. The last time I heard her on WCCO Radio, she was doing a public service announcement for the preservation of loon habitats.
Her brother Ted said in a message, “She lived large and went peacefully,” adding, “It’s hard to believe she is really gone.”
Her parents said in their statement that Eleanor, “went up to heaven last night to be with her angel.” And now the horses, and dogs, and all the other animals in heaven have Eleanor to look after them.