Eleanor Marie Schneider Nissen passed away peacefully on May 6th following a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was born in Santa Rosa August 30, 1917 to Herman and Jeannette (Daut) Schneider.
She was raised in Coyote Valley and Cold Creek areas of Mendocino County. Upon her graduation from Ukiah High in 1935, Eleanor attended UC Berkeley and St. Luke’s Nursing School. It was in the Bay Area that she met Ralph Nissen who was to become her husband of 59 years. They married in 1939 and lived in Williams where they raised their three children.
Eleanor was a hard working farmer’s wife. She was an active board member of the Williams Community Church, Sacramento Valley Museum, Farm Bureau Women, Cooperative Extension Home Department, a 4-H leader, American Red Cross Swim Instructor, active in the Republican Party and the Children’s Home Society where she helped organize the annual Camellia Tea.
A big joy in her life were her beautiful gardens. She had blooming flowers for every season and a huge iris garden. She was an amazing seamstress, making most of her two daughter’s clothing.
Eleanor and Ralph loved traveling to explore the world learning, embracing and appreciating people and cultures. They enjoyed many wonderful trips together and were marvelous ambassadors representing all that is good about the American way of life.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her husband Ralph in 1998. She is survived by her children: Florence Passof (Peter), Paula Miller (Hardy), and John Nissen (Dawn). Grandchildren: Barry Miller (Barbara), Tascha Whetzel (Mike), Brenda Kirian (Chris), Mike Passof (Judy), Johnna Hensen (Mike), and Dane Nissen (Trisha) and 11 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by many extended family and a host of friends around the world.
At her request, no services will be held. A private family interment will be held at a later date. In Lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sacramento Valley Museum, PO Box 1437, Williams, CA 95987.