Eleanor Christine Mitter, 59, Columbia, died Saturday, May 18, 2013, at her home, surrounded by her loving family.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at Olivet Christian Church in Columbia. Visitation will be begin 9 a.m. at the church.
Her ashes will be scattered at a later date on the Ozark farm where she and her husband were married and spent days of joy, games and fellowship with countless friends.
Eleanor was born April 4, 1954, in St. Louis to the late David Mitter and Elizabeth (McDonald) Mitter.
She graduated in 1976 with a degree in elementary education from Southeast Missouri State University and in 1993, she received a master's of education degree from the University of Missouri.
On May 3, 1980, she married Rob Hill in Gravois Mills, Mo. He survives.
Until her health intervened in September 2012, Eleanor was director and teacher at the Child Development Center, Columbia First Baptist Church, where she nurtured children for 18 years. In 1994 she became director. She also taught in several other Columbia preschools.
Eleanor’s lasting career interest and great joy was the education of young children. Her calm countenance and patient teaching provided a life foundation for several generations of children
Prior to moving to Columbia in 1989, she helped found and was first director of Children’s Station community preschool in Hannibal, Mo. Prior to her years in Hannibal, she taught at Children’s House in Versailles, Mo.
Besides time with family, her love of nature and the outdoors sustained her. She taught preschool Nature Detective outings each summer at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and with her husband and son Charlie, hiked and backpacked many trails in Missouri and national parks and forests of the American West and New England. She was a Missouri Master Naturalist.
Every walk was a learning experience and each Ozark float trip was great pleasure for Eleanor, especially when family or friends could join her.
She was a member of Olivet Christian Church, where she helped organize the Relay for Life trivia contest.
Eleanor is survived by her husband, Rob, and son Charlie Hill, of Columbia; her mother, Elizabeth Mitter, St. Louis; four sisters, Martha McGlinn (Randy), Hartland, Vt.; Kathy Mitter (Rick Burch), Columbia; Cindy Harris (Greg), Rolla, Mo.; and Melinda Borman (Mike), St. Louis. Other survivors include nine nieces and nephews and numerous cousins.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Child Development Center at First Baptist or the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be left at www.parkerfuneralservice.com.