Cover photo for Eleanor Ann Graves's Obituary
Eleanor Ann Graves Profile Photo

Eleanor Ann Graves

d. January 19, 2017

April 20, 1922 ~ January 19, 2017



Monday, January 23, 2017

11:00 AM

Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home

Harlan, IA

(get directions)

Burial will be in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, IA


1 Son – Leroy Holtz

2 Daughters – Shirley (Holtz) Johnson

Maurine (Graves) Butterfield

1 Brother – Maurice Pond

1 Sister – Margaret Nielsen

5 Grandchildren

8 Great-grandchildren

Other Relatives & Friends

Eleanor Ann Graves, the daughter of Harry L. and Edith L. (Wasser) Pond, was born on April 20, 1922, in Avoca, Iowa. She grew up with her brother and two sisters on a farm near Shelby, Iowa. Eleanor graduated from Shelby High School in 1939. She attended Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, for her teacher’s certificate, and then taught in rural schools near Hancock, Iowa.

Eleanor married Alvin Holtz in 1942. They lived and worked on rented farms. A son, Leroy, and a daughter, Shirley, were born. They were divorced in 1960.

Eleanor married Ellsworth Graves in 1962. A daughter, Maurine, was born. Eleanor ran a daycare and preschool center in Avoca, Iowa, for eight years. She then worked at Rem-Leadway in Shelby for 13 years, and at the Harlan Crest Home for ten years.

Eleanor was a member of Christ’s Church in Harlan, Iowa. She enjoyed sewing and quilting.

Eleanor A. Graves died on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa. She had reached the age of 94 years, 8 months, and 30 days.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Inez Nielsen; her special friend, Eugene Wilcox; one sister-in-law, Olive Pond; two brothers-in-law, Vernon Nielsen and Eugene Nielsen; one nephew, Wayne Nielsen; and one niece, Sharon Nielsen. She is survived by one son, Leroy Holtz; two daughters, Shirley (Holtz) Johnson and Maurine (Graves) Butterfield; one brother, Maurice Pond; one sister, Margaret Nielsen; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

The funeral service was held on Monday, January 23, 2017, at the Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Brian Taylor of Christ’s Church, Harlan, Iowa, and Pastor Donna Ewert of the Congregational United Church of Christ, Harlan, Iowa, officiating. Janelle Nielsen served as the musician. Casket bearers were Garret Knop, Glen Arnold, Dean Butterfield, and Ken Nielsen. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at
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