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Eleanor Stellyes Largent, 96

| December 30, 2010 12:33 PM

Eleanor Middleton Williamson was born on Aug. 18, 1914, in Detroit, Mich., to Donald Voorhis and Laura Eleanor (nee Middleton) Williamson. Eleanor, sister Lillian, and brother Donald, were raised in La Grange, Ill., where her father was a pioneer in the adhesives industry. Eleanor died Dec. 22, 2010, at age 96.

Eleanor attended Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., where she met her future husband, John Coburn Whittier. She followed Coburn to The University of Chicago, both graduating in 1936. They married June 19, 1936. Coburn then attended Rush Medical College. Residency took them to New York where their first child, Eleanor Hope, was born. A second daughter, Joy, was born in Chicago. They moved to Glendale, Calif., in 1945, where he established his family medicine practice. A third daughter, Lillian Alice, completed the family. They divorced in 1955.

She married Bernard "Bud" Asher in 1956. This marriage brought two more "daughters," Lorene and Bernadette into the family. Eleanor and Bud acquired two businesses, Century Spring and A-1 Spring Corp. early in their marriage. These businesses continued to grow. Bud passed away in 1970. Eleanor married longtime Idaho friend, Bernard "Bernie" Stellyes in 1971. Two more "children" joined the family, Jeanette and Monte. Bernie brought his keen business sense to Century and it continued to grow and prosper throughout their marriage. They purchased Idaho property, a summer home in Hayden Lake and a ranch in the Cottonwood Creek/Gifford area where Bernie grew up. They enjoyed golf and time with family in Idaho and also traveled extensively together for both business and pleasure. Bernie died in 1988. Eleanor continued to be a driving force behind Century Spring until her retirement in 1989 at age 75. Century Spring continues its dominance in the spring business to this day thanks-in-part to the leadership of Eleanor.

At this time in her life she started her philanthropic work. A few of her community service organizations included the Salvation Army, Glendale Memorial Hospital, Community Foundation of the Verdugos, YWCA's Hamilton House, Alex Theatre, Glendale Symphony and Knox College. Her awards included: 2000 - Outstanding Woman of the Year from Glendale Salvation Army; 2001 - Glendale Memorial Hospital Outstanding Woman of the Year and Certificates of Recognition from The California State Legislature & Senate; 2005 - YWCA Glendale Woman of Heart & Excellence and Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. Senate, California Legislature Assembly & California State Senate, County of Los Angeles Enriching Lives Commendation and City of Glendale Mayor's Commendation. She was also a longtime supporter of Delta Delta Delta's Sleighbell luncheon for Children's Hospital Oncology Research.

Leisure activities included bridge, duplicate bridge, PEO and golf. Eleanor won the Oakmont Country Club 1994 Marsha Young Golf Tournament. She continued to enjoy her travels with family and friends.

On April 6, 1996, Eleanor married Willard Largent in Hayden Lake. Two more "daughters," Joan and Barbara, were welcomed into the family. They enjoyed golf and family in Idaho and Glendale. They also traveled the world and in 2008 moved to Regent's Point in Irvine, Calif.

She is survived by her husband, Willard; sister Lillian Birk (Wilbur); children, Hope Rhodes (Mark), Joy Land (Alan, deceased), Alice Mallrie (Joe), Jeanette Dickeson (Bob), Monte Stellyes, Joan Weaver, Barbara Paisley (Bob), Lorene Todd and Bernadette Maguire. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren due next year.

Eleanor was much loved and respected throughout her life. She will be greatly missed by her family, many friends and business associates.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, at La Canada Presbyterian Church, 626 Foothill Boulevard, La Canada, CA 91011.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to any of Eleanor's charities above or Hospice Touch, 3401 W. Sunflower Ave., No. 100, Santa Ana, CA 92704, or La Canada Presbyterian Church Deacon's Fund (This fund helps support and care for people going through difficult times).

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