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Eleanor Fay Stegeberg McGovern
Birth: Nov. 25, 1921
Sanborn County
South Dakota, USA
Death: Jan. 25, 2007
Davison County
South Dakota, USA

Wife of Senator George Stanley McGovern (Democratic Presidential Candidate in 1972). Eleanor was born November 25, 1921, on a farm near Woonsocket, South Dakota, to Earl and Marian Payne Stegeberg. When Eleanor and her twin sister, Ila, were 11 years old, their mother died, leaving them to help their father raise their younger sister, Phyllis. She attended school in Woonsocket, South Dakota, and graduated in 1940, as salutatorian. Following graduation she attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, where she met her future husband George McGovern. She worked as a legal secretary for Herbert Hitchcock and Fred Nichol in Mitchell, South Dakota. On October 31, 1943, she married George McGovern at the Woonsocket Methodist Church where George's father, a minister, officiated. They raised five children. During their married life Eleanor and her husband lived in Mitchell, South Dakota, Washington, DC, Stevensville, Montana, Rome, Italy, and traveled widely. Eleanor campaigned for her husband, in elections to the US House of Representatives, the US Senate and again when he won the democratic presidential nomination in 1972; winning 11 state primaries including South Dakota and the two largest states, New York and California, before a loss to President Nixon. Frequently Eleanor discussed national and international issues in the media. Following that time, she addressed civic, academic and women's groups as an advocate for children, family life and the roles of women. She wrote articles and gave interviews on many issues, including alcoholism. She wrote her memoir, Uphill: A Personal Journey, in 1974. Her activities included being a board member for Dakota Wesleyan University, The Psychiatric Institute Foundation, The Child Study Association, The Erickson Institute of Chicago and Odyssey House of New York and Eleanor also enjoyed being a volunteer for the Child Development Center. She was an active participant in the Martha Movement and helped establish the McGovern Family Foundation for research on alcoholism. She loved nature and was a voracious reader. Eleanor McGovern died of heart failure at her home in Mitchell, South Dakota, early Thursday morning, January 25, 2007, at the age of 85. She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter Teresa in 1994; and her twin sister, Ila, in 1996. Originally buried in Graceland Cemetery, Mitchell, South Dakota, she was exhumed and re-buried next to her daughter at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC, in the Summer of 2007. (bio by: Stan Courtney) 
Family links: 
  George Stanley McGovern (1922 - 2012)*
  Teresa Jane McGovern (1949 - 1994)*
  Steven Earl McGovern (1952 - 2012)*
*Calculated relationship
Rock Creek Cemetery
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Plot: Section O, Lot 449, Site 2
Created by: The Perplexed Historian
Record added: Jan 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17682846
Eleanor Fay <i>Stegeberg</i> McGovern
Added by: The Perplexed Historian
Eleanor Fay <i>Stegeberg</i> McGovern
Added by: The Perplexed Historian
Eleanor Fay <i>Stegeberg</i> McGovern
Added by: The Perplexed Historian
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