Eleanor McBane, 74, passed away on January 7, 2022, at Gables Care Center in Hopedale, Ohio. While she lived life to the full, Eleanor always ran joyfully toward the prize to which God called her—life on high in her beloved Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14). She once wrote, “I’m finding more and more that the only thing that matters is loving Jesus, and when we do this, we are the most happy and can give the most love to those around us,” and so she poured herself out in love and service to family, friends, and strangers alike.
Born in Oakland, California, on April 3, 1947, to the late Gabriel and Mary Bernal Toimil, Eleanor worked as a flight attendant, Christian bookstore manager, missionary, and Catholic speaker and children’s and youth minister before she and her daughter Gabrielle moved to Steubenville, Ohio, in 1985. There, she worked at Franciscan University of Steubenville as the bookstore manager and then as director of Business Services while earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees in counseling. In 1996, she married Jim McBane and moved to Bergholz, Ohio.
Joy and laughter and courage were hallmarks of Eleanor’s life, all of which flowed from her deeply personal faith and love for God. She was a longtime member of Triumph of the Cross Parish and the Community of God’s Love.
“La familia” was Eleanor's heart and her everything, and she especially loved being a mom. She also enjoyed good books, good wine, and good friends, and delighted in the beauty of nature and art and people. She was a magnet for small children and teenagers who loved her creative play and boundless humor. And her quick wit and words of wisdom and encouragement made her an invaluable friend on the journey of life.
Toward the end of her life, Eleanor suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, which made it difficult for her to communicate, though she could always manage a brilliant smile and an “I love you” for visitors.
“I never cease to be awed by the fact that the God of everything desires me, my love, my life, and that He desires me filled with His joy, His blessing, His love, His goodness,” she wrote to a friend. “Oh, God, you are wonderful!”
Eleanor is survived by her husband Jim McBane; her children, Gabrielle (Anthony) Bradley and Daniel (Clare) McBane and her grandchildren, Josephine Eleanor Marie Bradley and Noah, Alanna, and Eva McBane; and Jim’s children, Amy (Gary) Richards, David (Jenny) McBane, Chris (Ken) Pasiuk, and Joy (Ryan) Roy; grandchildren Justin (Amanda) Richards, Mallory (John) Puckett, Caleb (Sarah) Pasiuk, Aidan and Ben Pasiuk, Alec, Ian, and Jackson McBane, Maegan, Maris, and Madelyn Roy; greatgrandchildren, Bryant and Brecken Richards and Maverick Puckett; and her brother Larry Toimil and her sister Teresa (John) Arisman.
Friends will be received at the Everhart-Bove Funeral Home, 685 Canton Rd., Wintersville, Ohio, 43953, on Wednesday, January 12, 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. with the Rosary prayed at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, January 13, 2:00 p.m., in Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The private interment will take place at Mooretown Cemetery, east of Bergholz, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Aim Women’s Center, 248 N. 5th St., Steubenville, OH 43952; aimwomenscenter.com.
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