Eleanor Hunsberger

Eleanor Hunsberger

Sunrise: December 28, 1937—Sunset: September 23, 2022

On Friday, September 23, 2022, Eleanor Hunsberger, loving partner, and mother to three daughters passed away peacefully at home at the age of 84. 

Eleanor was born December 28, 1937, in Minneapolis, MN to Harvey D. and Frances Witherspoon. She was raised with her nine siblings and attended school K-12 in North Minneapolis. 

Eleanor completed an undergraduate degree at Metropolitan State University in 1982. After graduation, she became the co-founder of MIBCA, a chemical dependency program for African Americans. 

In her professional life, she was always finding ways to give back to her community. In her personal life, Eleanor married John Jenkins and shared two daughters Rayni and Alana. 

Later in life, she would graduate from Luther Northwestern Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1985. 

In 1986, she was called to serve as part-time associate minister at Nokomis Heights Lutheran Church and later served as associate minister to All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove.

Eventually, Eleanor married Martin Hunsberger and welcomed a third daughter Jennifer. Eleanor served as a minister until 1999 when she chose to retire. Her commitment to serving others continued. She began working with students at Harvest Preparatory Charter School with her daughter Alana for the next 10 years. 

After retiring a second time, Eleanor spent her days keeping busy with family and traveling with her partner Jan. She loved to play and win at board games, especially Yahtzee. She enjoyed going fishing and singing in the church choir. She loved to tell a good story that made everyone laugh. 

Next to God, family was the most important thing to Eleanor. She loved and was loved by many. She was truly a reflection of God’s love.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents Harvey D. and Frances Witherspoon, and siblings Sonny, Shirley, Gloria, Duane, Diane, Juan, and Patricia. She is survived by her loving partner of 20+ years Jan Nielsen, her three daughters Rayni, Alana (Karim), and Jennifer (Joe); eight grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, brother Harvey, sister Darnell, and a number of cousins, nieces, nephews. 

The family of the late Eleanor Hunsberger wishes to express their appreciation for your comforting words and genuine acts of kindness in our time of sadness.

Visitation will be held Thursday, September 29, 2022, at Crystal Lake Cemetery Dowling & Penn Ave. North from 5-7 pm. Funeral services will be held Friday, September 30, 2022, at House of Hope Lutheran Church 4800 Boone Ave. at 11 am.

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