Cover photo for Eleanor E.  St. John (nee Ilenin)'s Obituary
Eleanor E.  St. John (nee Ilenin) Profile Photo
1932 Eleanor 2022

Eleanor E. St. John (nee Ilenin)

February 12, 1932 — June 3, 2022

Funeral Date June 10, 2022

Visitation at Misencik Funeral Home, Avon, on Thurs., June 9 from 4 – 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Spirit Church, Avon Lake, on Fri., June 10 at 10:30 a.m. (Please meet at church). Interment to follow at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman, at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift in support of the Alzheimers Association at or the Firelands Association of Visual Arts (FAVA) at  (Arrangements by St. John Funeral Home of Bedford, 440-232-1155). See full notice for details.


ELEANOR E. ST. JOHN (nee Ilenin), aged 90 years, of Avon Lake, formerly of Bedford, Ohio, passed away June 3, 2022. Beloved wife of the late James for 68 years.  Loving mother of Eileen (Bruce) Spevak, Chuck (Stacy Cagle), Michael (Kyung), Mary “Peg”, John “Jack” (Paula), Annie (Jeff) Stark, Laura (Scott Howell), David (Megan), Patrick (Alisa Taddeo), and Jennifer (Brad) Bolander, dearest grandmother of 17, and great grandmother of five. Predeceased by her parents, Andrew and Mary, brothers Andrew, Rudy and Frank, and sister Mary Suchy. Eleanor was a graduate of Notre Dame Academy (1950), an avid tennis player, and played “hooky” to attend the World Series celebration of the Cleveland Indians in 1948.  She married Jim in 1952, and their first child – Eileen- was born in 1954.  A devout Catholic and theologian, long-time member of St. Pius X Parish in Bedford, Ohio and Holy Spirit Parish in Avon Lake, Ohio. Eleanor was a Lay Minister and leader in religious education, and exceptionally active in various ministries at both churches.  Her voice strengthened the choir at Holy Spirit Parish, where memories of her still remain.  Since 1997, Eleanor was a member of the Abbey of the Genesee Lay Contemplative Associates, based in Piffard, New York, part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.  She was a discerning and gentle force within this community, noted for her wise counsel and commitment.

Eleanor displayed exceptional artistic talent from an early age and became a celebrated artist in northern Ohio while raising ten children with Jim.  She was a skilled and well-respected teacher, and mentored many emerging art students through community programs in Cuyahoga and Lorain County as well as at various senior centers.  Her work was honored with a place in the original Cleveland Museum of Art May Show, and in several prestigious juried shows and at many galleries over the years.  She possessed great talent in various media – textiles, pastels, woodprint and ink, among others. Eleanor was a valued member of the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts (FAVA), Oberlin, Ohio.  She was a wonderful gardener, and fierce warrior against chipmunks and raccoons who regularly besieged her garden.  She was a tireless advocate for Jim as his health declined later, and throughout his residency at Avon Oaks Nursing Home established a longstanding friendship with many staff members.

Eleanor was a force of creativity and gifted her children, grandchildren and many others with skills and the products of her creation.  Her baking was remarkable, there was always a ready supply of Slovak breads, cookies and chocolate Cappuccino bars!  She tatted lace, sewed most of her children’s clothing and crocheted afghans for the homeless.  Eleanor’s stacks of books were a constant, her love of reading meant regular trips to the local library, where her children learned the delight of choosing their own piles of books to fuel imagination.  Her family and friends miss her already and will continue to feel her absence even while delighting in her creative, spiritual and feisty legacy. A special Thank You to the wonderful staff at Avon Oaks Nursing Home and to the thoughtful and gentle Crossroads Hospice caregivers, who cared for Eleanor in the last days and moments of her life.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 9 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the MISENCIK FUNERAL HOME, 36363 Detroit Rd., Avon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, June 10 at Holy Spirit Church, 410 Lear Rd., Avon Lake at 10:30 a.m. (Please meet at church). Interment to follow at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio at 1:00  p.m.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift in support of the Alzheimers Association at or the Firelands Association of Visual Arts (FAVA) at We will miss you Mom. (Arrangements by St. John Funeral Home of Bedford, 440-232-1155).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eleanor E. St. John (nee Ilenin), please visit our flower store.


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