Our beloved wife, mom, grandma, great grandma, sister, aunt and friend passed peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family.
She will be remembered for her kind and generous heart, her lifelong devotion to her family and for her sweet humble spirit.
She is survived by her husband of 44 years Lee Cressall, children Gay (Jerry) Pena, Teri (Ronnie) Bogden, Misty (Jon) Kane, Terry Cressall (Jeff), Kevin Cressall, 11 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, sisters Helene (Jim) Ricketts, Lucy (Ben) Moye, and many special nieces, nephews and cousins.
She is preceded in death by son Randy Cressall, parents Herman and Lucille Schleth, brothers Herman Jr. and Johannes Schleth and special sister Marian Qualls.
A private family celebration will be held in her honor.
~You can always tell where a beautiful soul has been by the tears and smiles left behind ~unknown
Eleanore Lucille Cressall or “Ellie” as we all know her was born to Herman and Lucille Schleth on March 6th, 1940 in Eureka, California. She was the third born of six Schleth children and the first daughter. She was a joy to her parents and always a mama’s girl. They reveled in spoiling her and showing her off to friends in the Eel River Valley communities of Loleta and Fortuna. Ellie had a large family that consisted of two brothers, Herman Jr. and Johannes and three sisters, Helene, Lucy and Marian.
Ellie grew up on the family dairy in Loleta, California. Ellie and her siblings were always busy with chores such as milking cows morning and evening. At an early age Ellie learned to handle rifles as she often went duck hunting on the ranch. Unknown to most, she was an excellent marks “woman.” She won many trophies at the gun club and oftentimes outshot the men.
As Ellie became older she was involved in managing and maintaining the second dairy ranch in Freshwater. Ellie was a hard worker and she gained her amazing work ethic from her time at the ranch plowing fields, mowing, bailing hay, repairing leaking water pipes, and mending fences. As the oldest girl, Ellie was her dad’s right hand gal. After retiring from the dairy, Ellie’s parents owned Herman’s Club in Fields Landing. She spent many hours helping out with all aspects of the daily operations of the club from food preparation to serving beer and wine.
Upon graduation from Fortuna High School in 1958, Ellie attended nursing school at San Jose State. She cut her nursing career short to marry and start a family, moving to Salt Lake City where she had three beautiful daughters: Gay Lynn, Teri Dee and Misty Dawn. During the next few years, both her sisters Lucy and Marian stayed with Ellie to attend beauty school in Salt Lake and help Ellie with the kids.
Ellie remarried in 1976 to her soul mate, Lee Cressall. Their marriage added two sons Kevin Lavell and Randy Lee, as well as another beautiful daughter, Terry Lynne to her growing family. Her family truly became a replica of the Brady Bunch. The Cressall family grew up enjoying camping, waterskiing, and snowmobiling, with travels to Bear Lake, Yuba Dam, Disneyland and so many other places. This included numerous trips with all kids piling into the family motorhome and heading out.
Ellie had an unconditional love and special bond with all three of her sisters Helene, Lucy and Marian. She was always missing them, so every year she would load the girls in the station wagon and away she would go to visit her sisters, their families, and her mama that she particularly missed so much. Every spring Ellie traveled out to her parent’s home to spruce up the yard before heading out to the family cabin in the redwoods on the Van Duzen River. They celebrated many family reunions at Cabin #45 with the extended Schleth family. It was her “Little Bit of Heaven.”
Ellie occasionally made fall visits to her sister Lucy’s family hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon to help out with the nut harvest. There are many memories of Ellie skating around on rolling nuts while raking. She would get so mad after crash landing on her rear. We tried not to laugh but you just don’t see that every day. Despite all the comedy, Ellie was a much needed helping hand and was greatly appreciated.
Ellie was multi-talented and worked a wide array of jobs, but being a mom at home is what made her glow. Ellie loved all the holidays and decorated her home and yard for every one of them. On Halloween, most years she would dress up like a witch and play out the role with absolute glee. At Christmas she always orchestrated the most elaborate Christmas Eve gathering for friends and family alike. She was always welcoming and opened her home to all.
Ellie was thrilled with the birth of every grandchild. She was truly a natural grandma and always wanted all of them to have the best opportunities. Her grandchildren Meggon, Jared, Jacob, Derek, Riley, BreAnna, Aubrey, Amber, Brandt, Greyson, and finally the caboose Briellie were the light of her life! These grandchildren gave her 19 great grandchildren. Ellie never missed a moment to dote on any of her grandchildren. She loved to spend time with each and every one of them to provide support and be involved in their everyday lives. From birthday cards and calls to attendance at games, recitals, weddings and holiday celebrations. She cherished every moment with her family. She was the true epitome of everything a grandma stands for. Throughout the years Ellie and Lee faithfully spent a lot of time warming the bleachers at their kids, grandkids and great grandkids games.
Throughout Ellie’s life she was always willing to help others and was a true example to her family of kindness, humility, integrity, and love. She was so supportive and she always wanted to help anyone in need! She loved to sneak a little cash into our pockets.
Ellie fiercely wanted to be able to stay here longer with her loving family. Her body finally gave out but her fighting spirit NEVER did. Nothing I say today will help us get over the grief we carry for Ellie, but I believe that the stories we share today about the impact she had on each and every one of us will help sooth our sorrow. She would want that. Ellie was a feisty hard-working, passionate figure of strength who never waned in her love of her family, and who soldiered on, even when times were tough. She was the matriarch of the family.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Jordan Roberts, Dr. Jason Hancey and his Nurse Lexie for the many years of great care she received during her fight with ongoing medical issues. We would also like to thank Nurse Kim Grover who cared for her with genuine love during her final days.
On October 2, 2020, Ellie will be laid to rest at a private family graveside service at the Memorial Redwood Estates. The following will serve as pallbearers: grandsons: Jared Peña, Jacob Cressall, Derek Peña, Riley Bogden, Brandt Nitz, Greyson Bogden, and her granddaughter’s husbands: Tim Prescott, Joey Solmonson, Dylan Priest, and Zach Evans.
It has been a great privilege to give this tribute for my aunt who was such an unforgettable woman. We all are so blessed to have known such an amazing woman who will never be replaced in our hearts.
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