Chicago, Illinois -- Eleanor Froelich (Freilich) celebrated her second birthday less than a week before she became an orphan after surviving the Eastland Disaster.
Born on July 18, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois, Eleanor was the pride and joy of her parents, John and Hattie Froelich (Freilich). John, an employee of Western Electric Company, boarded the Eastland with his wife, daughter, and Hattie’s sister, Josefa Zimma, for a day of merriment and laughter. Sadly, John, Hattie, and Josefa perished in the disaster, leaving Eleanor to be raised by her grandparents.
In her early twenties, Eleanor entered the School Sisters of St. Francis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to become a nun, serving as Sister Virgil Froelich. Described as pleasant and outgoing, Eleanor played the piano and organ and was actively involved in the parish choir. She served as a music teacher in southeast Wisconsin as well as working in the finance department until her death on October 14, 2002. She was laid to rest at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.