Dolores “Dee” Needham Eshleman, 88, passed away on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Scotia Village.
A service to celebrate her life will be held by the family at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 7, at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, officiated by Rev. Rob Martin.
Dolores Needham was born in Peoria, Illinois, on May 18, 1931, the only daughter of Dewey and Mabel (Guthrie) Needham. She attended the two-room schoolhouse in Gilchrist and delivered newspapers on her two-mile walk back to her home. She attended Viola High School where her lowest grade (B+) was achieved in Home Economics. Upon graduation, she was recruited to work at the National Bank of Aledo. It was while working at the bank that the new head of the Guidance Department at the Roosevelt Military Academy walked into the lobby. Dee introduced herself to Captain Philip Eshleman and many dates over five-cent cups of coffee followed. They were married on November 3, 1962 at College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Aledo, Illinois. She would enjoy the next 51 years in the family home directly across the street where she was married.
She shared similar interests as her husband and was a force behind his diverse pursuits. They restored multiple homes in Aledo and spent many hours refinishing furniture acquired at local auctions. Her patience was tested many summers when her kitchen was overtaken by her husband’s bees while packaging comb honey. She spent many a cold weekend at fall festivals in the region selling Eshleman’s Clover Honey. Less stressful moments were enjoyed at the family’s cottage overlooking Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin. Despite her Home Economics grade, she was an excellent cook, baker and homemaker. Her sons remember freshly baked cookies always being available after returning from school. She took special interest in providing fellowship to the elderly in her church and community at-large. She enjoyed attending Broadway shows and listening to live Dixieland jazz.
She became the primary care provider to her husband when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1989. She was tireless in his care and extremely protective of his privacy.
She instilled in her sons many of the qualities of her Scottish Heritage: thrift, charity, gratitude, humor and a spirit of fierce independence.
Left to honor her memory are two sons, Philip and his husband, Dr. Robert Dyer, of Laurinburg, North Carolina, and Bart of rural New Boston, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents, and infant brother, Stewart, and her husband.
Memorials may be left to the Presbyterian Homes Foundation denoting Tartan Place Courtyard Beautification in c/o Scotia Village, 2200 Elm Avenue, Laurinburg, NC 28352.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dolores Jean (Needham) Eshleman, please visit our floral store.
Presbyterian Homes Foundation, Tartan Place Courtyard
in c/o Scotia Village, 2200 Elm Avenue, Laurinburg NC 28352