Eileen Schweinler Wheeler, of Rockford, IL, went to live with the Lord on November 16, 2021. She was born March 28, 1924, in Neillsville, WI, to Otto Fredrick and Lousie (Schroeder) Tramm, the second-youngest of five children-Carl, Margaret, Dorothea and Lois. Her father was a section foreman on the Soo Line in Stanberry, WI, and her mother cared for the family.
Eileen attended a one-room school in Stanberry, WI, through the seventh grade. Her parents sent her to Neillsville, WI, for the eighth grade so she could be confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church. She graduated in 1942 from Neillsville High School where she played the trumpet in the marching band. It will come as no surprise to anyone that one of her favorite subjects was home economics.
After high school graduation, Eileen moved to Rockford, IL and worked at the National Lock Company in the personnel department. One of her assigned tasks during World War II was accounting for employee gas, sugar and shoe rationing stamps. Eileen was industrious and hard-working and had a second job as a waitress during the evenings.
Eileen met the love of her life, Charles Schweinler, after arriving in Rockford. He was the manager of the State Theatre. They were married on November 23, 1946, and had three children-Charlene, Craig and Cevin. Sadly, Chuck died in 1964 and Eileen became a single mother. In 1965 she became the first widow in Winnebago County to adopt a child, her daughter Candice.
Eileen was an energetic person and an entrepreneur. In 1952 she and her husband purchased the Soda Bar Restaurant located in the Trust Building in thriving downtown Rockford. Everyone in Eileen’s immediate family, and many extended family members, worked at the restaurant. It was a vibrant gathering place for family, friends and downtown workers. Eileen sold the Soda Bar in 1970.
Eileen continued her career in the food business, operating the Camelot Coffee Shop, managing at the Woman’s Club Food Shop, owning a catering business and working at a variety of other local restaurants. Eileen was especially well-known for her stunning wedding cakes. Family members and friends looked forward to celebrating events with her beautifully designed cakes and delicious food.
Eileen was extremely active in her community. She was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church for 77 years and was proud to sing in the choir, play in the bell choir, and participate in the Ladies Evening Circle. In addition, she volunteered at the OSF St. Anthony Medical Center for 35 years and Senator Dave Severson presented her with an award for her 5,081 hours and 50 minutes of service. Eileen also donated her time to the Crusader Thrift Shop for 19 years and was always ready to help a friend or acquaintance in need by proving food and clothing. Her favorite joys were dancing and taking care of babies.
Eileen loved people and entertaining. She was the highlight of every event she attended and was quick to share stories about her life and experiences. Eileen was the consummate hostess, always attending to and serving her guests, so much so that she never sat down. Her unique gifts were a special part of every Christmas for her children, siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and spouses.
Eileen was a loving wife, mother, sister, friend, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother who is survived by her sons, Craig Schweinler of Rockford, IL and Cevin Schweinler of Rockford, IL; daughter, Candice Schweinler of Rockford, IL; grandchildren-Joe (Jennifer) Schweinler, Corey Schweinler, Brandon Schweinler, Alex Schweinler, Nicolas (Brandy) Ludow, Philip (Casey) Ludlow; great grandchildren-Jenna Schweinler, Dakota Scheweinler, Dylan Schweinler, Finley Schweinler, Willow Ludlow, Kaylee Dubick, Jaxson Dubik; great-great grandchild, D.J.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Schweinler; daughter Charlene Sowl; daughter-in-law Babe Lovett; great-grandchild Jayce Ludlow; four siblings -Carl Tramm, Margaret Snyder, Dorothea Beyer, Lois Adkins; nephews-Ronald Mund, Kenneth Mund, Steven Mund; and niece-Gayle Tramm.
Eileen will be buried next to her husband in the Scandinavian Cemetery in Rockford, IL. Graveside funeral services will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, December 4, 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Craig Schweinler, 16278 7 Street, Pecatonica, IL 61063. You may share a memory or condolence at olsonfh.com. Eileen’s children would like to thank all the ladies at OSF Hospice for their loving care and concern for their mother.
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Published by Fred C. Olson Chapel – Rockford on Nov. 25, 2021.