Mary Eileen Herzog, 90, of Milwaukee, WI, formally of Independence, IA, died Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at Eastcastle Place in Milwaukee -- six minutes into her longtime favorite soap opera, "The Bold & The Beautiful."
Because Eileen will journey 280 miles to her final resting place, two services will be held along the way.
Her Milwaukee life celebration will be Monday, Dec. 30, at Three Holy Women Holy Rosary, 2011 N. Oakland Ave., with visitation from 4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m., followed by a Funeral Mass at 6 p.m. The date and the celebration will have additional significance as Eileen married the love of her life, Frederick Herzog, Jr., on Dec. 30, 1956 in Grundy Center, Iowa. He preceded her in death in 2005.
Eileen's Iowa life celebration will be Jan. 2 at Reiff Family Center, 216 3rd Ave. SE, in Independence, with visitation from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by services there, and burial beside Fred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center.
Eileen was born Feb. 1, 1929 in Denison, Iowa, to Mary Elizabeth (nee Fitzpatrick) and John Jacks. She was raised by her Irish grandparents on a farm near Denison, sang to the birds as a little girl, and graduated from Denison High School in 1948. It was no coincidence that she shared a hometown with Donna Reed of "It's a Wonderful Life," because Eileen's life, while imperfect, was wonderful. And, she loved Christmas.
A 60-plus-word-a-minute typist, Eileen was a secretary for JC Penney and Crawford County Farm Bureau in Denison before moving to Waterloo, Iowa, in 1950 to be with her mother, step-father and their growing family. She continued to work as a secretary for insurance agencies there.
Eileen first met Fred at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa, in the mid ' 50's.Fred and a buddy asked Eileen and her friend to dance. They went out for a bite to eat afterward, and all drove home together. It's a good thing Eileen left the porch light on when Fred picked her up for a second date, or he may not have found her house again in the fog.
Eileen and Fred raised their family on Iowa dairy farms near Grundy Center, Holland, and Independence, Iowa. They left the farm and moved to a condominium in Independence a few months before Fred died. As Eileen's health declined in 2011, she bravely left the state she had known her whole life and moved to Milwaukee, near her two daughters.
Eileen enjoyed quilting and bright, lovely colors. She will be remembered for her smile, her kindness, her selfless grace, and her amazing strength and resilience.
In addition to her cat Molly, Eileen leaves behind three children, Larry (Ann) Herzog of Waterloo, Iowa, Mary Ann Herzog of Milwaukee, and Karen (Tom) Daykin of Whitefish Bay. She is further survived by two granddaughters, Kelsey and Emily Daykin, and four siblings: Kevan (Shelley) Cortright, of Denver, CO, Steve Cortright of San Diego, CA, Rosemary Zummak of Saint Louis, MO, and Cathy (John) Baker of Des Moines, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a sister Rosalie (Henry) Kadavy and two brothers, Dan Cortright and Mike Cortright.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Horizon Home Care & Hospice of Milwaukee, or a no-kill cat shelter such as Second Hand Purrs or Happy Endings No Kill Cat Shelter in Milwaukee.