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Private Family Service

Eleanor R. Yackel

October 22, 1932 - May 31, 2020

Longtime resident of Circle Pines, Eleanor lived a wonderful, full life of 87 ½ years and left this world on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020. Born October 22nd, 1932 in Springfield, Minnesota, she grew up on the family farm outside of Sanborn, Minnesota and graduated from Sanborn Public School. Eleanor loved people, life and music. She entertained with gusto and was a great-hearted, supportive friend to many people.

Music was a central part of Eleanor’s life.  She received her BA degree in Music Education from St Olaf college in 1954, taught music in public school for 5 years then gave piano lessons to hundreds of students in her home. She also directed numerous adult and children’s choirs, played the organ at Our Savior’s Lutheran church in Circle Pines, and wrote music for educational publications as well as for the choirs she directed.

Married to John Yackel in 1956, Eleanor was a warm, welcoming hostess to the many people who came through the doors of their family home, sharing her hospitality through good food, her ever present smile, and sing-a-longs around the piano, which she dearly loved to play. Her graciousness was extended to larger circles when she established “Hospitality Place,” a center for retreat and renewal in her neighborhood.

A large part of Eleanor’s life was dedicated to American Guidance Service (A.G.S.), the educational publishing business that she helped her husband to start. Eleanor and John raised 4 children together: Margaret, Peter, Carl and Jean. Later the couple welcomed into the family two refugee sons, Kiet Phan and Mohammad Mohammad.

Throughout her life, Eleanor was a role model for many as she lived out her faith in God. She knew that God loved her and called her to love her neighbors and all of God’s created world.  She continually put others first and worked tirelessly to stand up and speak out in protest when she saw injustice and oppression, doing so with grace and a heart for reconciliation.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents Erna and Arnold Goehring, a sister, Gertrude Boyum and brothers-in-law, Earlo Boyum and Roland Pederson.


Eleanor is survived by her husband of 63 years, John Yackel and their children, Margaret (Mark) Yackel-Juleen, Peter (Alison Morse) Yackel, Carl (Jackie Haft) Yackel, and Jean Foster; 9 grandchildren, Andrew, Elizabeth, Eli, Isaac, Frances, Jamishin, Jeanette, Jeana, Mike; and 5 great-grandchildren; sister, Jean; and 7 nieces and nephews.  She is loved and will be missed by many.

There will be a private family memorial service with a public Celebration of Life held at a later date.

Memorials preferred to Manna Market food pantry at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Circle Pines; Feed My Starving Children; or Second Harvest Heartland

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