Eileen J. Dreifuerst
In the first few minutes of November
2nd, the sweet and gentle soul of Eileen Jane Dreifuerst ascended into
heaven. She was born on flag day, June
14, 1923 to Herman and Ida (Petrie) Dreifuerst . Eileen attended St. Mary’s Grade School and graduated
from Fond du Lac High School.
Following graduation, she was employed as a telephone
operator with Wisconsin Telephone Company until a severe infection caused her
to partially lose her hearing. Eileen
along with a dear friend, moved to Oak Park, Illinois and later Elmhurst,
Illinois. During her time south of the Wisconsin
state line she provided support to physicists,
chemists and other scientists at Argonne National Laboratory whose projects during
that era included the discovery of einsteinium and fermium (elements 99 and 100
in the periodic table), research used as the foundation for the designs of most
of the commercial reactors that are used throughout the world today for
electric power generation, development
of the first nuclear submarine reactor for the USS Nautilus, one of the first
ultrasound images of the human body, and a technique to use alpha radiation to
study the moon’s surface.
During her time at Argonne National Laboratory Eileen was
involved in many “top secret” projects. Her training and quiet demeanor made it
possible for her to thwart the law and smuggle cases of oleo margarine across
state lines into America’s Dairyland in the trunk of her car during the
“Butter War”. Her courageous
efforts gave many of her family and friends the opportunity to purchase and use
the much less expensive oleo margarine which was banned in Wisconsin at that
time. This was probably the only time
Eileen even flirted with anything illicit.
Eileen was a devoted daughter and when her aging parents
needed some additional assistance she returned to Fond du Lac to help care for
them. Once back in Fond du Lac Eileen worked
at B.C. Ziegler Investments until her retirement.
As a lifelong member of Holy Family/ Saint Mary’s Church in
Fond du Lac, Eileen was a dedicated volunteer.
She was a member of the St. Mary’s Altar Society and the Holy Family
Quilters. Eileen diligently
counted collection money after mass and worked
on a team to meticulously clean Saint Mary’s Church. Eileen was also a member of Altrusa International and was active
in other numerous charitable projects.
Eileen Dreifuerst enjoyed spending time with her large
extended family. Some of her hobbies included quilting, decorating egg shells,
making dried floral pictures, and knitting.
Survivors include her brother, Paul Dreifuerst of Fond du Lac and sister-in-law, Margie
Dreifuerst of Hermitage, TN, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents Herman and Ida, her
brother Marvin and his wife Mary Dreifuerst, her brother Harold Dreifuerst,
sister-in law Joan Dreifuerst and great niece Marissa Dreifuerst.
Visitation for Eileen J. Dreifuerst will be at 12:30PM
Wednesday, November 6th at the St. Francis Home Chapel, 33 Everett Street, Fond
du Lac, WI . A Mass of Christian Burial will follow the visitation at 1:30 PM. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.
Eileen’s family would like to thank the staff at St. Clare
Terrace and St. Francis Home/Serenity Circle for the kind and compassionate care
given to Eileen while she was a resident there.
Eileen was a kind and humble person who never sought the
spotlight and would not have wanted or desired this attention.