Theresa's amazing smile.
Theresa Arnold Eigenberger
  • 83 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 19, 1931
  • Place of birth:
    Franklin, Wisconsin, United States
  • Date of passing: Oct 26, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    West Allis, Wisconsin, United States
Mom, may you find your heaven and eternal peace.

This memorial website was created in memory of Theresa Eigenberger born June 19, 1931 and passed away on October 26, 2014.

The oldest daughter of Casper and Mary Arnold.

Sister to Rosemary, Anna Mae, Joyce, Clara, Charlotte, Fred (Fritz), Casper Jr (Cappy) and Tony

Mother to Bridget, Debbie, Cindy, Bruce, Leon, Jeff and Doreen

Grandmother to Amanda, Christina, Thomas, Lana, Paul, Kelly, Marissa and Cassandra, Steven and Brian

Great-grandmother to Myen, Raven, Haskaya, Brooklynn, Shelby, Jaren, Jensen, Desiree, Eliza, & Isabella

Ever the fighter for life we could have lost her so many times. But she stayed with us for as long as she could. Selfishly, I wanted her to be part of my world forever. But in truth she always will be in my heart.  

Mom's Obituary link:

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Deborah Sromek on 21st June 2016

"Mom, on Sun. you would've shared your birthday on Father's day. I still miss you and always will. I thank God for giving me you and Dad and all my siblings. I still have many of your belongings in Leon's old room. I can't keep everything, but I will keep some. I have the crown that has are birth stones on it from many years ago Heavenly Happy Birthday  Mom."

This tribute was added by Bruce Eigenberger on 13th November 2014

"On November 10, 2014 Mom cremains were interred at Forest Home Cemetery alongside her son, our brother Leon on a hill in an area called "Prairie Rest". Both of their names will be inscribed on the granite proximity boulder in the spring.

Our family gathered to say our farewells to two of our own. God speed to both of them."

This tribute was added by Bruce Eigenberger on 13th November 2014

"My Eulogy from November 10, 2014

Thank you all for being here. I have been thinking long and hard about what to say here today. How best to capture the essence of her. How to honor the memory of Theresa Bertha Eigenberger.

Daughter, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Friend.

For two weeks now I've been waking up early every morning with my brain spinning away knowing that this was on the top of my list of things to do. Oh, just get it done, Bruce. As if my words if chosen correctly could somehow bring her back for us.

I went to work each day and I tried to think about something else. It worked for a while. But I still found myself staring out the window and thinking about her.

I would come home and take the dogs out for their walk and there she would be nestled between the bars of the music I listen to.

I had hoped that arranging the flight and the hotel and the rental car and having the service scheduled would feel like something real and concrete. Then I thought that when I finalized the burial arrangements for Mom and Leon remains I might get a sense of closure. But it didn't come then either.

So here we are in the amazing church that meant so much to many of us. Especially to Her. The Baptisms, the Communions, the Weddings and now here with the final acts of these special lives.

Will the weight lift from my heart here in the wonderful symmetry of her faith? Perhaps.

But what if I just came out and said what is really on my mind? I love you, Mom and I miss you. I will miss you as long as I have a breath in my chest. So there.

Now I'm old enough and wise enough to realize that in my head I will continue to write and re-write this eulogy for the next few years until I get it just right. By then it might be a full length movie and Mom will start to look a lot more like Meryl Streep. (Except with much better wigs.)

I read a poem 3 or 4 years ago called “Mother” written by Ted Kooser that I would like to share with you today. I think you might appreciate the beauty and awesome power of the mid-western imagery. I kept the poem not knowing why exactly. But now I do.

"Mother" by Ted Kooser, from  Delights & Shadows.

Mid April already, and the wild plums
bloom at the roadside, a lacy white
against the exuberant, jubilant green
of new grass an the dusty, fading black
of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet,
only the delicate, star-petaled
blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume.

You have been gone a month today
and have missed three rains and one nightlong
watch for tornadoes. I sat in the cellar
from six to eight while fat spring clouds
went somersaulting, rumbling east. Then it poured,
a storm that walked on legs of lightning,
dragging its shaggy belly over the fields.

The meadowlarks are back, and the finches
are turning from green to gold. Those same
two geese have come to the pond again this year,
honking in over the trees and splashing down.
They never nest, but stay a week or two
then leave. The peonies are up, the red sprouts
burning in circles like birthday candles,

for this is the month of my birth, as you know,
the best month to be born in, thanks to you,
everything ready to burst with living.
There will be no more new flannel nightshirts
sewn on your old black Singer, no birthday card
addressed in a shaky but businesslike hand.
You asked me if I would be sad when it happened

and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house
now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots
green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner,
as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that.
Were it not for the way you taught me to look
at the world, to see the life at play in everything,
I would have to be lonely forever.

I wanted to give special thanks to my sister Debbie and her family for being there for Mom over the years. I think she had a much richer life because of the efforts that you went through to include her. Thank you all.

And to my children for being here with me, thank you so much for your unflagging love and support.

I had asked the folks that wanted to be here and couldn't be to write their thoughts and we would read them here for everyone to hear. So I have letters from Mandy Keane and Cindy Klotz to read to you.

From Mandy:

At the age of 39, I'm the oldest grandchild to Theresa Eigenberger. I had hoped that when the day came for my grandmother to pass that I would be able to attend her funeral. Unfortunately I'm not able to be here today.

When I was born my parents named me Amanda Therese after my grandmother. As a child I really only have one clear memory of my grandma before her accident. I remember she came to visit me in Colorado and we played a game of UNO on my bed. I think I was about 8 years old at that time.

When the accident happened to my grandma, I was too young to understand really how devastating it was. Grandma came to live with us for awhile after her accident. I'm so glad I was able to have that time with her even though at the time it was challenging.

As an adult I find myself living a similar life to my grandma with 7 kids in a small house. I understand very well how challenging it must have been for her.

The thing that made me sad was when I found out Grandma had stopped remembering who her kids and grand kids were. I'd like to think now that her memory and body are restored and she is in heaven looking out for us.

Rest in Peace Grandma...Love Mandy

From Cindy:

Dear Mom,
My heart aches for all of the suffering you have endured since the fateful day of your accident. I prayed that God would release you from your earthly shackles and finally he did.

I wanted to thank you and Dad for instilling a good work ethic in us. There have been days when I would have “called in”, but I did not – even if I was tired or depressed. And because you said that you would have killed me if I dropped out of high school I was not a “drop out”.

You saw a compassionate side of me and not just the “rebel” side. You insisted I become a nurses aid while I thought that you were nuts. Which is why I enjoy taking care of our residents.
I trust that you are reaping the rewards of heaven and are laughing and dancing the polka.

All my Love...Cindy"

This tribute was added by Bruce Eigenberger on 3rd November 2014

"All are welcome to attend a memorial mass for Theresa to be held at St Martin of Tours church on November 10th, 2014.

Visitation is from 10-11 a.m. with the service following at 11:00.

The church is located at:

7963 S. 116th Street Franklin, WI 53132"

This tribute was added by Cindy Klotz on 2nd November 2014

"Mom I know me being a "leftie" left you frustrated and baffled. You couldn't teach me how to sew, because I always left your scissors dull, well since I was blessed with being the only leftie, I still make scissors dull and I assume all my residents are lefties and put their knife or fork in their left hands-can't blame me for trying. thanks for all life lessons you taught us. Give Leon a big kiss from me.
Love and kisses to you and for all the folks that have gone ahead."

This tribute was added by Cindy Klotz on 2nd November 2014

"mom I wish I could have taken away your pain and suffering. Since I could not I will continue taking care of my residents to the best of my abilities, Being your guardian was one of the toughest jobs I have ever had. But I am glad that I was able to help you get some therapy.
I hope you are up in heaven doing the polka with your sisters, brothers and your folks.
Love you more than I can put in words."

This tribute was added by Doreen Hulett on 1st November 2014

"It's so funny how far and fast we run away from our youth only to adopt that youth again as we age.  I never realized how much you influenced me until I look at recent writings I have done.  I talked about you a lot and your progressive views on food, exercise and the mind and body connection. Mom, you never stopped trying to improve yourself and this, obviously, did not go unnoticed.  I, until 10/26/2014, always struggled with, "What if you hadn't gone to AZ?" What would it have been like to have you here to make your delicious chili when I was recovering from the C-sections or you able to take my girls to the park or to a movie? Oh, how different life may have been. Good luck in heaven, and I hope you are doing the polka with Anna Mae."

This tribute was added by John Sromek on 31st October 2014

"When I first met Theresa Eigenberger in 1974, she was the mother of 7 children and dancing up a storm at the Blue Canary. In late May of 1983, she suffered a horrific accident that left her in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She was one of those Irish ladies with grit and determination. She had an Irish temper, but her heart was always in the right place. After the accident, she still clapped her hands to the Polka music. She worked hard, sacrificed much, suffered greatly and kept the faith til the very end. She won my respect and she suffers no more."

This tribute was added by Bridget Plunkett on 31st October 2014

"Mom- I can't help but think you were ahead of your time in some respects..You were into juicing well before it was a trend.  As I recall, apple and carrot made for good juice, but beets were an acquired taste.  But who could forget the yummy broken glass torte made on very special occasions.  I still have the hand-written recipe you sent me when I wanted to make it for myself.  I treasure that little sheet of pink paper.  The silly things we keep, huh?  Life was seldom dull or quiet, and woe to anyone who thought they were getting a day "off" from school just because they were sick.  You got us thru every childhood illness that came along.  Thanks, Mom for all you did for us.  Knowing you are in a better place is a consolation, finally released from your earthly body, but it was a lot like a Timex watch, you just kept on ticking.  Godspeed, Mom!  See you again someday.Love, Bridget"

This tribute was added by Bruce Eigenberger on 29th October 2014

"It struck me sometime on this Sunday past that my siblings and I are now orphans. We are all alone to fend for ourselves in the big scary world.

Okay. Not much of a revelation as far as it goes. But how is it that no matter how many years go flying past us we can still find the child inside us and in there access a fuzzy image of a caress or a kind word from one of the most important people on the planet to our young selves? (After all, who has done that for us...lately? Not including pets.)

I know that have been very selfish and I visited Mom because it made me feel better. More grounded and connected somehow to a simpler time when loving someone was about the easiest thing in the world to do. And I could make her smile by just taking off my hat and showing her my shiny bald head. (That almost never happens anymore.) But I think she thought I was Cappy as often as not. And I was okay with that.

Seeing her in these later years was a bit harder and I don't think she knew who I was at times, but curiously I still grew from her company. I would keep asking her questions about her past and I hung on her every word. (Well, you sort of had to and then shuffle and re-assemble them to get at the nugget that was there within.)

Her amazing long term memories helped to build up my fading images of her younger self and the world she came from. Why didn't I take notes? Where was I when her memory was full and complete?

Running away most likely.

In the years past when she was very low and wanting to go to Jesus I told her more than once. "I need you here. We all need you here." But as it turns out no one has to stay on the earth forever.

So at the tender young age of 57 I have to say goodbye to my mother. And you know, it is still really hard.

Goodbye, Mom. Give everyone a hug from me when you see them.

Love, Bruce"

This tribute was added by Amanda Keene on 28th October 2014

"Oh Grandma, I look at all these pictures of you and I think over and over what a beautiful lady you were. I wish I had more memories of you from before your accident. I can only imagine how different things would have been if the accident had never happened... Oh grandma I hope all your memories are restored now and I know you are in a better place and for that I am happy...

Rest In Peace Grandma...Love, Mandy"

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This memorial is administered by:

Bruce Eigenberger
Doreen Hulett


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