Cover photo for Eileen P. Vollink's Obituary
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1920 Eileen 2010

Eileen P. Vollink

July 28, 1920 — August 20, 2010



July 28, 1920
Wayne, Nebraska

August 20, 2010
Primghar, Iowa

10:30 A.M. Monday, August 23, 2010
United Church of Primghar; Primghar, Iowa
Rev. Cory Flanigan ~ Officiating

Visitation will be from 3 to 6 P.M. on Sunday with the family present from 3 to 5 P.M. Sunday at the United Church of Primghar.

“The Lord’s Prayer”
sung by: Bill Vollink
“Hymn of Promise”
Organist: LaNan Eldridge

Scott Vollink

Brian Irvine Warren Irvine
Brian Palmer Mike Madsen
Randy Heckert Lance Irvine
Chad Irvine

Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Primghar, Iowa

After the graveside service relatives and friends are
invited to join the family in the fellowship hall of the church.

Arrangements under the care of the
Gaudian-Eldridge Funeral Home of Primghar
Eileen Pearl Panhorst was born on a farm situated halfway between Winside and Wayne, Nebraska, to Edwin and Ella (Meyer) Panhorst on July 28, 1920. Two and one half years later sister, LaVern, was born, and a brother, Harold arrived in 1925. That year Eileen began first grade at the area country school. No Kindergarten was offered, and she was the only first grader. Eileen walked almost 2 miles to school. At the age of eleven after Eileen completed 5th grade, the Panhorst family moved to a farm three and ¼ miles east of Primghar in Center Township. Once again the Panhorst children attended country school. After completing 8th grade Eileen wrote exams at the court house in Primghar. Passing these enabled her to go on to Primghar High School and to participate in an 8th grade country wide commencement ceremony. In 1938, Eileen graduated from Primghar High School. During these growing up years in Iowa, Eileen went to Sunday school and was confirmed at the Congregational Church in Primghar. Lack of money prevented Eileen from attending commercial school after high school. This was a lifelong disappointment for her. During the next several years Eileen remained at home working on the farm, doing chicken chores, milking the cows. She was a 4-H leader too. Eileen continued helping on the farm until she married Howard Ward Irvine on September 12, 1945. They farmed east of Primghar for the next 32 ½ years, with four children resulting from their union. Beside maintaining a huge vegetable garden, growing and preserving most of the fruits and vegetables a family of 6 can eat in a year, raising chickens, and mothering four children, Eileen found time for outside involvement with Highland Homemakers, the Rebekah Lodge and teaching Sunday school for 10 years. After Ward’s death in February, 1978, Eileen remained on the Irvine farm one more year before moving to Primghar. She was active in the Home and Hobby Branch of the Primghar Women’s Club, United Church Women, O’Brien County American Cancer Society organizing daffodil sales, church circle and Harness Club. She also remained an avid vegetable gardener. Family and friends were very important to Eileen, and she blessed those around her with her gift of hospitality. Many people not only experienced her fine home cooked meals but also the home grown fruit, vegetables, and meat as well, which were the result of her hard work. She was adventurous, with her choice of her garden varieties; Eileen never met a vegetable she didn’t like. On February 14, 1981, Eileen married James Vollink. This doubled her involvement, as they remained active with both of their churches, card clubs and circle of friends. It also expanded her role as Grandma to 14 young ones. Eileen and Jim enjoyed retirement together, traveling and keeping up with their combined families. The couple lived in Primghar until moving into assisted living in Sheldon in January, 2005; where they’d remained until Eileen entered the Primghar Care Center in September, 2007. Eileen passed away at the care center on August 20, 2010 at the age of 90 years, 23 days.
Eileen is survived by her husband, James Vollink, Spirit Lake; a sister LaVern Sneller, Sioux Center, IA; two sons, Jim Irvine (Sheryl), Gary, SD and Lee Irvine (Ronda), Primghar; two daughters, Jane Madsen (Bob), Hornick, IA and Lois Heckert (Kim), Story City, IA; step-son, Bill Vollink (Kathy), Minnetonka, MN and step-daughter, Elaine Palmer (Fred), Newell, IA; thirteen grandchildren and step-grandchildren; twenty-two great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Eileen was preceded in death by her first husband, Ward; parents; a brother, Harold; a step-grandson, Scott Vollink; a nephew, Perry Sneller; three brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eileen P. Vollink, please visit our flower store.


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