Mabel Eleanor Robinson ’51 Zoellner
Mabel Eleanor Zoellner died on August 25, 2020 in Scottsdale, AZ. She was born in Sparkill, NY, the daughter of loving parents Mary Elizabeth (Roemer), and George Robinson. Eleanor graduated from Tappan Zee High School N.Y. and then went to Scudder Secretarial School in New York City for two years. Upon graduation she worked as a secretary to Doris Duke.
Eleanor graduated from Hope College in Holland, MI. She earned a B.A. in Education in three years at Hope. She graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Eleanor taught fourth grade at Tappan Zee Elementary School, NY. She then moved to CA and taught there as well. Eleanor and Jack met at Camp Pendleton. Jack had served there and went overseas as an enlisted Marine in WWII. Jack later was the Chaplain at F.M.F. Chapel and Eleanor, the organist. They were married at First Reformed Church of Piermont in Sparkill, NY. They served several congregations in CA and eventually settled in Scottsdale, AZ.
She and her husband, Rev. Jack Zoellner, founded Bethany Lutheran Church in Scottsdale in 1964. Working tirelessly next to her husband, Eleanor was the church organist and choir director at Bethany for 11 years. Additionally, Eleanor was the organist and choir director at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. She also gave private piano lessons. Eleanor earned her private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying.
Eleanor taught first grade for several years at Pima Elementary School. She received her Master’s Degree in Library Science at A.S.U. and became the Librarian at Pima where she instituted many learning programs. She was awarded the Outstanding Librarian of the Year her first year. Eleanor taught for a total of 53 years.
Her love of children, animals and music never diminished. Eleanor was full of life and loved by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
She leaves behind her husband of 66 years, Jack Zoellner, and their daughter, Susan Eleanor Phillips, (husband Timothy), of Scottsdale. Also surviving are their grandchildren Dane Nielsen, Mark and Eric Phillips, and sister Carolyn Ward of AK. She was preceded in death by their daughter Gretchen Elizabeth (Zoellner) Nielsen and brother Raymond Robinson of NY.