After an earthly sojourn of 90 years, Jesus Christ came to Juanita Joyce Eash in the early hours of June 30, 2019 to take her lovingly to her heavenly home. There she embraced Jesus, her beloved mother, and all her friends and family who preceded her there.
Juanita was born on June 6, 1929 to Quirino and Ethel Simbulan in Elkhart, IN, the youngest of four children and the only daughter. Juanita was always very proud of her Filipino heritage. Strong in character, but petite in stature, she was always very grateful for her loving mother and guardian brothers. Juanita trusted Christ as Savior early in life, but, as she would tell you, she really learned to live with and for Christ in the last half of her life. In 1947 she married Marvin Schenk. Their union brought her four children into the world. Juanita could have claimed many titles, but she chose “Mother” above all others. In the early 1980s Juanita married Richard Eash, with whom she traveled the United States.
Juanita poured her multitude of gifts into her family. A marvelous cook, Juanita satiated her family with spectacular down-home dishes and desserts. Her Best-ever Chocolate Cake was truly just that. Other delectable creations included strawberry pie, rhubarb pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie, grape pie (yes that’s right), raspberry cream pie, peanut butter cookies, and eclairs. Her contribution was always the entrée of choice at church potlucks. Juanita also made dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies each year, becoming well-known across Michiana. Those cookies also ensured that her family enjoyed Christmas gifts. A skilled seamstress, she provided beautiful clothes for her girls, especially at Easter. Part of her legacy to her family are her crocheting works of art, particularly afghans. Juanita ensured that her family was well-versed in the arts, providing her children piano lessons or teaching them herself. As a homemaker, Juanita was a “Queen Midas.” She could make gold out of limited resources. That included tending a huge garden of fresh vegetables and fruit, from which many a meal came.
As her children matured, Juanita took her skills into the marketplace, serving General Telephone of Indiana for many years. After retirement Juanita found her dream job as a librarian, retiring a second time from Sturgis Public Library. She had the intellect of a college professor, which she turned on books of all literary genres. She read countless books across her lifetime, the most important of which was her Bible, reading it cover-to-cover for many years. Her favorite TV show was “Jeopardy,” perhaps because it fueled her life-long quest for knowledge. Juanita was also gifted physically. She found her physical niche late in life, tap dancing with the Elkhart Rockerettes well into her 80s. As age slowed her, Juanita turned her attention towards prayer and encouragement, especially for her kids and grandkids. Each would tell you how her phone calls, letters and emails lifted them.
Juanita passed from this life with gratitude for God’s grace and confidence in the promise of eternal life. She is survived by her brother, Ray Simbulan of Battle Creek, MI along with many friends. Her children had the special privilege of celebrating her 90th birthday on June 6. Each of them—Nancy (Brad) Cummins of Idaho, Tom (Diane) Schenk of Oklahoma, Marva Netherland of Elkhart, and Rex (Judy) Schenk of Arizona—plus her 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, encourage those who loved their mother to grieve, but to grieve with hope.
Hartzler Gutermuth Inman Funeral Home will host Family Visitation on Friday, July 5, 2019 from 4-7 pm. Central Christian Church will hold a Celebration of Juanita’s Life and Savior, Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 11 am, with the Rev. Dr. Doug Cripe officiating. In lieu of flowers Juanita requests donations to Faith Mission of Elkhart,