Cover photo for Eleanor  E. Sabey's Obituary
Eleanor  E. Sabey Profile Photo
1925 Eleanor 2022

Eleanor E. Sabey

December 14, 1925 — September 13, 2022

Eleanor Elaine (Janssen) Sabey, 96, passed away peacefully on Sept, 13, 2022 surrounded by loved ones, at Lightways Hospice in Joliet, IL. She was the only child of Wilbur Janssen of Quincy, IL and Thelma (nee Lohr) Janssen of Bloomington, IL.

She is survived by eight children: Kaaren (late E. Lawrence “Larry” Oldfield), Kristin Bladek, Richard (Kathy Sabey), Delle West, John (Janice Sabey), Charles (Nina Sabey), Elaine (late Bill Vincent), and Douglas (Debbie Sabey).

She is survived by 16 grandchildren: Kimberly (Luke Oosterhouse), Lauren (Richard Beck), Sandra (Chris Hering), Kelly (Cliff Brown), Rich (Jen Bladek), Tom (Jackie Sabey), Terri Sabey, Annie (Camden Walters), Anthony “Booter” West, John Sabey, Christopher Sabey, Tracey (Greg Adams), Hannah Sabey, Tyler Sabey, Taryn Sabey, and Charles “Chooch” Vincent.

She is also survived by 20 great-grandchildren: Kyle Oosterhouse (Kersten), Lindsey Oosterhouse, Richard “Rickie” Beck, Brooklyn Beck, Samantha Hering, Sydney Hering, Zachary Hering, Haley Brown, Anna Sue Bladek, Aiden Bladek, Jordan Sabey, Micah Sabey, James Walters, Benjamin Walters, Wyatt West, Levi West, Oliver Adams, Evalena Adams, Jensen Adams, Keegan Sullivan.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, Richard “Dick” Sabey, her son, Robert Vaughn Sabey, grandchildren, Robert Bladek, Doni West, Sarah Vincent, Adam Sabey and Sophia Sullivan. She had two sisters Donna and Margaret who died within 4 days of birth.

Eleanor was born in 1926 in Quincy, Illinois and spent the first 13 years of her life there. Her father owned Janssen Pickle and Vinegar Works there. In Junior High School, she received the honor of being the “Queen of Courtesy.” She was also a Champion High Jumper in track and won a 1st Place Blue Ribbon in tennis.

After moving to Chicago with her mother, she attended Sullivan High School where she became the editor of the school paper and wrote the gossip column, “The Ghost.” She also joined Roger’s Park Lutheran Church where she met the love of her life Richard Sabey when she was 14 and he was 16. World War II intervened and Dick was sent to Tinian Island in the South Pacific. Like so many of the “Greatest Generation” they communicated by letter and remained in love.

During that time Eleanor attended 2 years of Journalism School at Northwestern University. After that she accepted a job at the Howard G. Mayer Publicity Office located in the Tribune Tower. When the war ended, she and Dick married.

They had 9 children (4 girls and 5 boys). When she has been asked what she is most proud of in her life she has always responded, “Having my children and raising them well. They have all grown up to be professional people.”

After living in the city where her husband attended the Academy of Art, they moved to Park Forest, the community that was built especially for War Veterans and young professionals. It encouraged community service and volunteerism. It was there that the family joined Calvary United Protestant Church and Eleanor became the only woman to be on the building committee.

She also served as an election judge for 30 years, never missing an election. Eleanor was also a proficient bridge player and has played with a group she started at Sunny Hill where she has lived since her husband passed away. It has included players from Sunny Hill, volunteers and her daughter and cousin. She was also a fabulous cook including “dot pancakes”, and "danish",“ableskivers”. At the Sabey home there was always room for one more person and hospitality was one of her greatest assets.

Eleanor had a strong set of values that never changed. She will be remembered for her love of God, Country and her never- ending love of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandson Rich Bladek said, “Grandma always makes you feel like you are the most important and wonderful person in the world.” Daughter Kaaren said,” I think my mom was the kindest, most selfless person I have ever known. She was Christ-like and in our family we are aspiring to continue her legacy.

Services for Eleanor will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2022 with a memorial visitation at Kurtz Memorial Chapel, 65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423, from 1pm until the time of service at 4pm. Internment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Friends of Sunny Hill, in Eleanor’s name would be appreciated.

 The Friends of Sunny Hill

 421 Doris Avenue

Joliet, Illinois, 60433.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eleanor E. Sabey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, October 9, 2022

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Kurtz Memorial Chapel - Frankfort

65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Kurtz Memorial Chapel - Frankfort

65 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, IL 60423

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

20953 West Hoff Road, Elwood, IL 60421

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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