Eleanor Waidelis Colaianni, took her flight to Heaven Sunday, April 23, 2017, at age 95 following a brief illness. She was the daughter of Lithuanian parents, John and Mary Lasousky Waidelis. She grew up in Harrisburg, Illinois, with her two sisters and cat “Buttons”. Standing the test of time, her childhood home remained an important landmark and conversation piece to Eleanor.
She graduated from Harrisburg Township High School in 1939, then attended Murray State University where she met her husband, Gilbert Colaianni, Sr. She joined St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in 1955, immediately following the family’s move to Arkansas, and sang in the choir for 53 years. Eleanor's busy life included playing bridge and scrabble, sewing, reading and many activities associated with her love of music. She taught piano and played the bassoon in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. She was non-judgmental and loved unconditionally. She cherished and nurtured many lifelong friends, notably Virginia Tiemann. She was a woman of great faith, love, outstanding moral quality and an exceptional mother.
She is survived by her son Don Colaianni (Dana), her daughter Janelle Fureigh (the late Dennis), and sister, "Millie" Krembs (the late Richard). Her grandchildren, who lovingly called her "Granny" or “The Great One” include; Todd, Tracy (Terry), Gina (Chris), Eve (Carol), Holly (Andy), Aaron, Adam (Kim), and Joanna, 9 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Her loving extended family includes Phyllis Colaianni (Larry) and Mary Waters Blackard (Ron).
Eleanor was predeceased by her parents, husband and sister; Katherine Guardalabene. Also predeceasing Eleanor are her daughter Carol Allen (Frank) and son Gil Colaianni (Teri) and her son-in-law Dennis R. Fureigh and grandson Conner Dean Fureigh.
Her family would like to thank Elliott Sorge for the many years he contributed to Eleanor’s happiness and well-being. We appreciate the staff and nurses at Briarwood Nursing & Rehab and Baptist Health for the wonderful care they gave Eleanor and her family.
A memorial service honoring Eleanor’s life will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Friday, April 28, 2017, at 11 a.m. followed by inurnment in the columbarium and a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home, http://www.ruebelfuneralhome.com
"To the family of Eleanor Colaianni. My family sends their deepest sympathy to you. Our thoughts and prayers goes out to you. John 5:29."
Nancy Foley | Cleveland, OH
"Many lovely visit with Eleanor and everyone was filled with current events and concerns for others. Great lady!"
Vicki Kellogg | Little Rock, AR
"My heart and memories of Eleanor are of love, grace, beauty, humor, pure kindness, talent and joy. My thoughts are with all of you"
pam flinn-curtis | hot springs, AR
"My Thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. God Bless!"
Joseph Krembs | Racine, WI
"Thinking of you, Janelle, at this time. I know you have a tender heart and pray peace to you. "
Judy Furnish | Benton, AR
"Don and Janelle, I so sorry to hear of your great loss, mothers are everything. My thoughts and prayers are with you both during this trying time."
Rusty Graham | Florence, AL
"Please known that your family are in my families prayers."
Randy Tuohey | Benton, AR
"Even though I never met Eleanor, I feel as if I knew her through her grandaughter Tracy. She shared photos and beautiful stories of her over the past few years that told us of her beautiful personality and wit. She will be greatly missed by her family. Please accept my deepest sympathy."
Pam Murray | Shirley, AR
"You all have my deepest sympathy. I know she was loved and adored by all of you. Rest In Peace Eleanor."
Susan bennett | Little rock, AR
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Colaianni family during this time of loss and sadness.
Bob and Mary Widding | Coway, AR
"We are so sorry for your loss.
Kevin, Barbara, Angel and Marsha"
Kevin Kordsmeier | Little Rock, AR
"My thoughts & prayers are with you"
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Gil caver | Little rock, AR
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