Cover photo for Eleanor Kase's Obituary

Eleanor Kase

August 19, 1927 — December 20, 2023

Eleanor Kase

Eleanor Mary Kase passed away on December 20, 2023, at St. Agnes Hospital in Fresno, California, from complications that occurred during recovery from a surgery.  She lived a long and happy life and was 96 years old at the time of her passing.

Eleanor was born on August 19, 1927, in Moreland, Idaho, near Blackfoot.  She was the second youngest child out of ten born to Erling and Mary Paulsen, who had immigrated to the United States from Norway in the early 1900s. Before she turned two, the family moved to a farm on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.  She began her elementary education at an Indian school with two rooms for all grades before moving on to Blackfoot schools, ultimately graduating from Blackfoot High School in 1945.

Her early childhood experiences were rooted in the experience of homesteading and farming that had been prevalent in Idaho at the turn of the century.  Erling and Mary were potato farmers, and Eleanor grew up on the family farm they built up near Wapello from the third grade on.  Her childhood was characterized by experiences that looked more like a pioneer existence, as the first house she lived in lacked electricity and running water, and only had an outhouse rather than a regular bathroom.  

Eleanor loved to tell stories about her depression-era childhood.  She talked of growing up learning both English and Norwegian at the same time and described how hard her mother worked to keep up the house, while her father made ends meet as a farmer in the difficult circumstances of the 1930s.  She frequently reminded picky grandchildren that her childhood meals frequently included homemade bread and culled potatoes, which the children were encouraged to eat—both because the food would disappear as soon as it hit the table and because her father encouraged consumption of potatoes “to keep the price up.”

Eleanor moved to Pocatello, Idaho, in 1945 to attend a two-year college.  She attended for one semester before she got a job at the First Security Bank for $60.00 a month.  She later became an IBM operator at First Security, before moving onto a position at Idaho Bank and Trust, where she retired in the early 1980s.

At first, Eleanor lived at the YMCA in shared rooms with seven other young women.  Before long, however, she met Frank Long at a dance and began dating him.  They got married in 1948 and had two children, Linda and Kenny. They were married 36 years and lived together most of that time in the little white house they built on Franklin Street in Pocatello.  They enjoyed playing cards, visiting with family, camping, and traveling around in Idaho and neighboring states.  Frank passed away in 1984, and Kenny passed away twenty years later.

Eleanor began dating Eddy Kase, who had also recently lost his wife, shortly after Frank’s death.  They got married in 1985, and Eleanor move into the house on Homer Street a few blocks north of her old house.  They had a long and happy marriage together, frequently vacationing at their cabin in Island Park, square-dancing together, or socializing with their friends.  She also enjoyed spending time with her sister Margit until she passed away in 2011.

Despite working full-time, Eleanor was quite a homemaker and enjoyed cooking and quilting.  Her grandchildren remember the wonderful meals they had when they visited her house, which usually included several courses of homemade rolls or bread, her famous green beans and bacon, and family staples like potatoes and gravy.  They also remember that there was always something sweet around that Grandma Eleanor had made, whether that was Pecan Delights, Fairy Cookies, Lemon Meringue Pie, or homemade jam.

After Eddy’s passing in 2012, Eleanor moved to California to live with her son-in-law and daughter, Randy and Linda Orgill. Although she was less active than previously, she still frequently helped with cooking and enjoyed spending more time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She also enjoyed visits from her nieces and nephews and developed especially close relationships with them as a result of their numerous trips to California in the last decade.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her two husbands, Frank Long and Eddy Kase; her son, Kenny Long; her parents, Erling and Mary Paulsen; nine siblings, including Jennie, Roald, Halvor, Arnold, Willard, Margot, Norman, Marion, and Margit; and her son-in-law, Randy Orgill.

She is survived by her daughter, Linda Orgill; seven grandchildren, Suzanne (George), Nate (Karina), Jeremy, Aaron (Randy), Ryan (Danielle), Shawn, and Tasha; eleven great grandchildren; one great-great grandson; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Eleanor’s life was filled with love and happiness; she will be missed sorely by her surviving family.

The service will be held at Manning-Wheatley Funeral Home at 11:00 am on January 13, 2024, in Pocatello.  Interment will be in Restlawn Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to Children’s Hospital of Central California.

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

Eleanor Kase.MP3

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Manning Wheatley Funeral Home

510 N. 12th Ave., Pocatello, ID 83201

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