In Loving Memory
Eileen Salome Appel
May 18, 1930 – February 9, 2015
Eileen Salome Appel was born on May 18, 1930 in a small town in eastern Iowa, the fifth child of seven born to Sylverius and Angela (Kramer) Jaeger. When Eileen was five Angela passed away and six years later Sylverius married Coletta Pottebaum who gave birth to four additional children. She was raised on a farm near Dyersville, IA and attended Xavier High School. The Jaeger kids loved ice skating on the pond on their property and they also were taught what hard work was all about as they helped maintain the family farm. She recalled that many Thanksgiving Days were spent harvesting corn and other farm chores.
In her early 20s she moved to Dubuque, IA and was employed by “Dubuque’s Most Beautiful Dry Cleaners” – Appel’s Crystal Clean. There she met her future husband, John Appel. They were united in marriage May 28, 1955 in Red Wing, MN. She retired from the dry cleaning business to take on the noblest of professions – being a full-time Mom after the birth of their daughter, Barbara. Nearly two years later along came her pride and joy, her son, Douglas.
She and her family enjoyed many weekends together at their cottage on the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien, WI, jointly sharing property with John’s brother (Robert/Bus) and his wife (Elsie).
For educational purposes as well as fun, the family began to take vacations across the USA and Canada during the summer. As Barb and Doug matured, the family explored even more exotic locations, which soon became their favorite vacation getaways – Hawaii and cruises in the Caribbean.
After Barb graduated from the University of Iowa, she moved to Houston, TX to pursue a career. Then John and Eileen became “snowbirds” and started fleeing to Texas for the winters. Later they changed their destination to retirement areas near Ocala, Florida. Doug also moved to Texas to complete his optometry degree at the University of Houston, after graduating from the University of Iowa. Thus, the family began to transition to the Lone Star state.
Once her husband passed away, Eileen became involved in volunteer work for local hospitals where she resided. She always enjoyed doing for other people and putting them before herself. Once in a great while she’d take a break from serving others and you might find her traveling with friends/relatives to destinations such as the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Germany, and numerous trips to Hawaii.
Eileen was also extremely fond and proud of her two beautiful granddaughters. Natalie Christine was born in 1989 with Melanie Anna Marie following in 1991. She so enjoyed being grandma to the “apples of her eye.”
An important part of Eileen’s life was also attending church. In Dubuque, IA she was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and in Stafford, TX she joined All Saints Lutheran Church.
Eileen was known for her outgoing, giving spirit as well as her talents when it came to crafts. Over the years she sewed, knitted, crocheted, and created ceramics and the most beautiful porcelain dolls. She brought those talents to Texas in 2005 when she moved to Stafford due to health reasons. Through her health issues she met a local physician who was also involved with supporting the U.S. military troops, who inspired her to “find her calling” by making over 17,000 neck coolers for U.S. servicemen and women over the years. As military forces were reduced overseas, she used her abilities to crochet caps for preemie babies and make blankets for babies at battered women’s shelters. Eileen also learned Swedish Weaving while in Iowa and brought that knowledge to Texas where she taught many people the craft.
After finding out she had two inoperable brain tumors in December 2014, she continued to work on projects she was completing for others. Finally, on February 9, 2015, the Lord said she had given and given enough and it was time for her to rest.
The family would like to express their sincerest thanks to Dr. Thomas Parr and his wife Joannie for their support of the military and inspiration for the 17,000+ neck coolers; A*Med Healthcare Group for their outstanding hospice support; and Roxanne Grice for letting God’s love flow through her while she had the difficult job of caring for Eileen during her final days.
Additionally we’d like to thank Dr. Robert Dean, Jr. of West Houston Bible Church for officiating at the memorial service, Arlene Carner for graciously agreeing to provide the beautiful music, and the wonderful members of West Houston Bible Church who tirelessly give of themselves to serve others and proclaim the good news of eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast,” Ephesians 2:8–9.