Eleanor Eileen Keiper, age 76, of Fruitland Park, FL and Hackensack, MN passed away peacefully on June 10, 2020 in Florida. Daughter of Eugene Lawrence Harnen and Claire Romanofski Kelly, Eleanor was born on April 16, 1944 in Chicago, IL.
Eleanor will be forever remembered by her loving husband, James Keiper, daughter Julie (Mark Scott) Keiper of Waynesville, NC, daughter Patti Keiper of Hopkins, MN, sister Barbara Powell of Phoenix, and three grandchildren, Chelsea Zacher of Missoula, Montana; Chloe (Jay) Thurman of Fort Walton Beach, FL and Alex Zacher of Waynesville, NC as well as eleven nieces and nephews and many dear friends. She is predeceased by her brother, Eugene Harnen and newborn daughter Carol Lee.
Eleanor was a gifted poet of prose and children’s poetry and a fond collector of teddy bears, especially antique mohair bears. She published her lifelong collection of works in a book titled, Journeys Into Poetry. Eleanor worked as a credit analyst for numerous companies as well as a proud co-owner of the family business, Accent Arts in Minneapolis, MN. Eleanor’s favorite places include her poetry studio at her summer home in Hackensack, MN, her beautiful winter home on Lake Griffin in Fruitland Park, FL, the beachfront condo at Makani A Kai in Maui, the Haleakala crater on Maui, and the willow trees at the family home in Chanhassen, MN.
Eleanor wishes to spend eternity in Maui, so her ashes will be spread in Hawaii at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Struthers Parkinson’s Center in Minneapolis, MN.
Excerpts from her works:
I consider myself a “fireside writer”, just now taking the time to indulge myself with the music
of the written word. Retired and loving it. The slower pace has given me time to truly look around me.
I see poetry everywhere I look. If I can inspire children to imagine pictures from my written word,
my epitaph will be, “She has succeeded.” The torch has been passed.
Best Poems and Poetry of 2003, International Library Poetry Anthology, Featured in Literature for the Parkinson’s Disease Walkathon, 1st place winner, poetry contest – Central Florida Library – Sorrento, FL. Member of Writers on the Grill, Mt. Dora Florida, 2007-2009 anthology.
Self-published books of children’s poetry, “A Little Book of Poetry I & II – Luv Ya, Mom”
which invites the reader to become the illustrator of each poem.
In this day and age, imagine stirring imagination!
Just a little note to mark my passing
No gathering of family or friends
to see me at less than my best
ALL PROMISES KEPT
You can visit me on the beach at
Makani A Kai in Hawaii on Maui
Maui is the best
Maui nō ka ‘oi
She found her own voice
quick-witted, good-hearted, true
words written in sand
We sold our house to our daughter and her family....10 minutes south of Lotus.
So sorry for your loss. John and I reminisced about the many time we chatted with you and Eleanor at Accent Arts today. Those were some wonderful times and we so enjoyed knowing the two of you and supporting your wonderful framing business. We still have almost everything we had you frame in our home.
John and I were lucky enough to spend some time in Maui in February (our first time there) and understand why Eleanor loved it so much.
All the best to you and your family,
Laurie and John Hynes
Former Uptown Neighbors
We are so sorry to hear about your loss. I have such fond memories of Eleanor at Accent Arts when I worked there in the early 1980s. She brought such warmth and kindness and made a lasting impression! Eleanor seem to be able to juggle so much by raising a family and being a career person all with such ease.
You all are in our thoughts.
Tom Garrett and Tom Taylor
Alex and I are sharing in your sorrow but at the same time feeling the gratitude of having known Eleanor both as a neighbor and friend. I am remembering our times of sharing our writing with each other with fondness,
Eleanors writing had a nurturing effect upon me. There were beautiful words, funny words and much whimsey. She had a keen perception of so many things and her powers of observation were reflected in her writing . I will always be grateful to have known her along with her many teddy bears which she introduced me to each Christmas while on display! In honor of Eleanor I thought I would attempt to write some thoughts about her.
She had an old fashioned name but don't let that fool you. She was a powerful blend of wit and discernment. Not much got past her keen eye of surveillance. But along with her ability to see was her ability to hear. she heard what other people missed. she heard the sound a solitary bird singing in the tree top. She heard a babys giggle amidst a crowd and Eleanors own childlike nature made it easy for her to giggle too. Eleanor had a beautiful mind. My awareness of who she was began when she, Jeanne and I sat together through the years swapping our wares with each other.. our wares of course being our writing. Eleanors writing sometimes comforted me and because her thoughts were truly lovely not gawdy or exaggerated but a rich mixture of words that stirred the best and the deepest in me. I also enjoyed her funny stories, her quirky ones that made us all laugh out loud. I often said to Eleanor and Jeannie that all they needed was proper marketing and they would be rich women! I was honored to be part of that trio. Eleanor was a strong woman. Her body through the years weakened but her spirit soared. I didn't see her often but seeing her when I did was enough for me to know that I was in the presence of a woman who didn't give up easily. I know what mattered to her most was her family. Her eyes sparkled brighter when she talked about her girls, her granddaughters and its obvious she inspired all of them to love her lavishly. Eleanor was a woman who was well loved! Her husband Jim day in and day out poured his whole self into caring for her and honoring her. As a wife I hope and trust my own husband will love me to such a measure. When I think of Eleanor I think of a friend I wish I could have known better. I feel the loss of her presently but also a diminishing of what might have been in the future. I am so grateful to have known her at all and to live right across the street from her. Eleanor is a lovely name but what makes this name truly beautiful is the woman who belonged to it her whole life. Whenever I will hear it in the future I will think of Eleanor Keiper and I will be warmed in my heart with the remembrance of such a remarkable person.
I met your mom just a few times when I came over to your house as a young teenager, but I remember her. I remember her friendliness and kind smile. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom a little over a year ago and know how hard that is.
The Southern Elite Team at AmeriHealth Caritas NC, would like to extend our prayers of comfort and strength during this time.
"And the peace of God which passeth all understand, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Selling books in Hackensack
Sweet sixteens, at 50 years
Mom at her 50th, with her wedding dress.
Mom and Dad at the cabin.
Hackensack, Minnesota cabin home.
Xmas in Florida.
The first female monarch butterfly I raise this summer, I will name after you and set her free with my continued unending love in a message using her wings. Watch for her.
I'm so glad you heard me sing Angel to you, Mom. You squeezed my hand and gently left this place only after it was over.