10/15/13 — Eleanor Beverly Leavens Wilson, 88, of Knoxville, Tenn., formerly of Ashland, is now in heaven and at complete peace. She passed away peacefully Friday morning, Oct. 11, 2013, at Shannondale Health Care Center in Knoxville, Tenn., surrounded by her loving family.
She was born April 8, 1925, in Glendale, Calif., a daughter of the late William B. and Florence Branson Leavens.
Eleanor’s early claim to fame was going to school with Norma Jean Baker, or Hollywood’s Marilyn Monroe. After high school and during World War II, she was part of a group of young women who went to work on airplanes as men went off to war... she was a "Rosie the Riveter". She worked in a war plant in support of her brother, Tony, who had enlisted in the service, and was a devoted sister that wrote letters to her brother every day until he returned safely home.
At the ripe old age of 28, Eleanor found true love in a Kentucky boy by the name of John Wilson. After a short courtship of 3 months, they were married on June 5, 1953. Together, John and Eleanor raised four children in sunny southern California.
Eleanor spent many summers at the beach with her kids body surfing, boogie boarding and just having fun in the sun. She never lost her love of fast and loud cars. From her ‘39 hot rod Chevy, to the family owned ‘54 Mercury with dual exhaust glass pacs, Eleanor’s motto was: "the faster, the louder, the better".
Family camping trips were the best of times for the Wilson clan, especially Bass Lake. Her greatest joys were friends and family. She was the ultimate team mom. She never missed a basketball, soccer, football or baseball game that involved kids. It wasn’t about winning or losing but about team work and a great time.
Eleanor was of the Pentecostal and Four Square faith and was a devoted homemaker. She loved going to church and taught young children in Sunday School for many years.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her stepmother who was like a mother to her, Marietta Leavens; one brother, Tony Leavens; and one sister, Betty Mabery.
Eleanor is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, John Delmar "Johnny" Wilson; two sons and daughters-in-law, John Mark and Jo’D Wilson of South Jordan, Utah, and Wayne and Pam Wilson of Knoxville, Tenn.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Sherri and John Meloccaro of Tabor, Iowa, and Jeanine and Rick Warren of Strawberry Plains, Tenn.; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one brother, Ralph Cowden of southern California; and three sisters and a brother-in-law, Demaris and Johnny Couts, Janice Rediker and Audrey Taulbee, all of San Bernardio, Calif. She had a zest and love of life from team mom to great grandma. "Eleanor gee, I think you swell" has touched many lives and she will be greatly missed.
Funeral services were at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, at Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill with Brother David Rayburn officiating. Burial followed in the Bowen Chapel Cemetery in Olive Hill.
Family and friends served as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Globe Christian Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 445, Olive Hill, KY 41164.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.globefc.com.