MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eleonore Anderson was known for her quilting talent and her pride of Polish traditions. She died on Sunday from complications related to COVID-19 at the age of 93.

WCCO continues our Faces of COVID-19 series with a loyal friend and mother who grew lonely as the pandemic wore on.

A two-time cancer survivor, Eleonore was a fighter from the start. She was born on the East side of St. Paul, and she became a secretary, sharing part of her paycheck with her family through World War II.

“She was a tough cookie,” Eleonore’s daughter, Barb, said.

Polish recipes of perogies and sausage were a staple in their household.

“I guess in our family and Barb’s food is love,” Mark Anderson, Eleonore’s son-in-law said.

“It brought everyone together,” Barb added.

Eleonore raised Barb and her five siblings while working for the Minnesota Revisor’s Office in St. Paul, the publisher of state laws and statutes. When she retired, she traveled with her husband, Howard. She was widowed, and Eleonore moved to an assisted living facility in Roseville three years ago.

“She got sick in February with a really bad cough, which by May she had a really bad phenomena and a high fever,” Barb recalled.

Her first COVID-19 test came back negative.

“Then a week later (she) was re-tested and it was COVID,” Barb said.

Eleonore was moved to hospice care. That was the first time in months her family could see her face-to-face.

“That was truly the hardest with all of this, was not being able to be with her,” Barb said.

Eleonore again fought back and actually beat the virus. But her daughter believes the damage had been done.

“It was after that we saw a very quick decline and within about a month she passed away,” she said.

Her family will hold a small funeral Thursday, with the quilts Eleonore spent countless hours on draped over church pews.

“We’re trying our best to make it nice but it’s not how we would want to do it,” Barb said.

The Andersons hope we’ll think of those like Eleonore moving forward, and follow the guidelines to give people like her more time.

“It’s all really important,” Barb said.

If you’d like to share any memories of someone you’ve lost to COVID-19, send an e-mail to tips@wcco.com.

Liz Collin

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