Martha Ellen Hackl Babb Eilertsen, 91, died Dec. 31, 2012, at her home from natural causes.
She was born in Bartow, Fla., on July 11, 1921, to Martha (Schwabe) and Albert Theodore “Hack” Hackl.
At Florida State College for Women (now Florida State) she was active in campus life and made many lifelong friends. After graduating, she met Nelson Babb while he was stationed at Bartow Air Base. In 1944 they married and moved to his home on the shores of Lake Congamond in upstate Connecticut, where they had two daughters and she began a long career in education.
She served on the Suffield Board of Education and as a first grade teacher, and a principal. She especially enjoyed the neighborhood women’s social group “The Girdle Snappers” and attending Broadway musicals.
In the early 1970s she returned to her roots in Bartow and continued her work with children in the public school system, and attained a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling.
She met and married Norman Eilersten with whom she enjoyed annual summer motor home travels all around the country. They participated and medaled in several events at the annual Polk County Senior Games and looked forward to playing in their social bridge groups. A trip to Norway connected them with Norman’s roots and extended family.
Martha Ellen was an accomplished artist and supporter of the Bartow Art Guild. Her paintings are prized by her family. A lover of words and language, Martha Ellen was an avid Scrabble player, crossword puzzle solver, correspondent and reader. Also dear to her heart were Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and the Bartow Chapter of the DAR.
Martha Ellen is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Christine Hackl; daughters, Claudia Reich (David Jr.) and Cindy Bergner (David Colton); grandchildren Carrie Ellen Little (Randy), David Reich III, Belle Bergner (Stefan Schnitzer), Babbs Bergner, Peter Reich, and Will Reich; great-grandchildren, Ellie, Olivia, Georgia, David IV, Simeon, Josephine, Mara, and Sofia; Norman’s Family Jill, Edward, Nicole, and Tyler Maassen and Jeff Eilersten.
Martha Ellen was blessed to have years of the friendship of and the loving care from Mary Wild, Pat Mitchell, Tabitha Taylor, and Frances Holder. Her family is grateful for June and Jessica and all the caring nurses.
A memorial service is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 500 W. Stuart St., Bartow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Memorial Fund of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church or Cornerstone Hospice or the charity of ones choice.
Condolences to the family at www.whiddenmcleanfuneralhome.com
Whidden-McLean Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.