Eleanor was born on March 11, 1918 on the farm near Oshkosh, Nebraska, the daughter of Harry H. and Ida L. (Rhodes) Ernest. She graduated from high school in Bethune, Colorado in 1935. She attended the State Teacher’s College at Kearney, Nebraska for a quarter, then after four years of studies at Nampa, Idaho, she graduated from Northwest Nazarene College in 1944 with a BA degree in Business Administration and Education. Then she taught four years in the same college in the Business Department while doing graduate work in the summers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and teaching there at the University for two summers.
On October 8, 1948 Eleanor was united in marriage to Rev. Paul H. Varce at the Church of the Nazarene at Burlington, Colorado. They pastored at Collins, Cedar Falls, Farmington, and Iowa Falls, Iowa, then at Viborg, South Dakota, and Sterling, Kansas. They moved to Waverly, Iowa in 1969 and to Cherokee is 2006.
Eleanor taught sixteen more years in towns where her husband was usually pastoring. She took more college work after she married to add another teaching field of Home Ec. She was converted at the age of 10 in the Calvary Church of the Nazarene 14 miles south of Bethune, Colorado. She was a member of the North Cedar Church of the Nazarene at the time of her death. She enjoyed teaching Sunday school classes, calling with her husband, playing the piano, organ, or marimba for the church services, and working in Vacation Bible School. Eleanor was a very devoted wife, mother, and friend. Her deepest desire was to live in the center of God’s will, bring her children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and be a blessing and encouragement to others.
She spent many hours sewing commercially and for her family. She liked gardening and always did lots of canning. Researching her family’s genealogy and reading widely were favorite past- times. In the last many years she read her Bible through every year, and continued sewing. She made 100 dresses for the girls of Haiti at the age of 99.
Family left to cherish her memory include daughter, Carol and sons Jonathan and Justin of Colorado; son, Dwight (Bonnie) of Cherokee, IA and their son Quinton of Colorado and Brett (Elly) with great-granddaughter, Layla of Creston, IA; step-granddaughter, Jennifer (Scott) Gardner with children Seth and Leah of Urbandale, IA; step-grandson, Paul (Coree) Stewart and daughters, Shelby and Caitlyn of Colorado; one brother, Dr. Leland (Jane) Ernest of Texas; sister-in-law, Jessie Ernest of Colorado; and many dear nieces and nephews, along with a host of relatives and friends.
Welcoming her to Heaven are her parents; husband, Rev. Paul Varce; twin brother, Rev. Elvin Ernest; brother, Rev. Stanford Ernest, and brother Paul Ernest; infant sister, Lydia; and sister-in-law, Liberty Ernest.