On Monday, January 27, 2021 Eleonore Schmidmeier Laughton of Southampton, NJ passed away at the age of 86. A proud Bavarian, she was born in Munich, Germany to the late Georg Schmidmeier and Theresia Lecker Schmidmeier. She was preceded in death by her two older brothers who returned to the Lord shortly after birth. She was a child of World War II in Europe, which began in September 1939 when she was only four years of age. She often reminisced about her pre-war childhood that included dogs named Rolf and Lumpi, the family’s chickens, which she also considered her pets – she loved animals of every type. She picked apples from their own apple tree and learned to make delicious German apple strudel from her mother, whom she lovingly referred to as Mutti. It was Mutti who inspired and nurtured the joy of gardening within her throughout her lifetime, which was a gift she then gave to her own children.
Eleonore adored her father, Georg. A painter by trade, he was drafted into the German infantry and sent to Poland and later the Russian Front during the war. From September 1939 until late 1944 she saw her father on only a few occasions when he was permitted by the German military to briefly visit home. As the war progressed, Allied forces began conducting bombing raids over Germany, including Munich. In 1944, when she was 9 years old her home was destroyed by an Allied bomb. It was by God’s Grace, she said, that she and Mutti were not home during the raid. Her father was granted an emergency leave to quickly build a wooden home for his family and then was returned to the Russian Front. It was the last time she would ever see her father, he died in early 1945 somewhere in Poland during the German military retreat from Russia, only months before the end of the war. From Germany to the United States, she never left her mother’s side until Mutti’s passing in Pemberton, NJ in 1980.
Eleonore met her husband, Earl J. Laughton at an American military USO club in the early 1950s during the American occupation of Germany. They fell in love and married in Munich on November 8, 1956. She worked as a stay at home mother to her children, Pierre, Ralph, Christian and Michelle until 1968 when her husband deployed to Vietnam with the US Army. Her first job in 1969 was with WT Grants department store in Mt. Holly. She later became the office manager at the Burlington K-Mart and retired after 35 years of loyal service.
Left to cherish her memory are her children and their families; Dr. Pierre Laughton, his wife Joetta and their children Nathaniel and Samantha; Ralph Laughton, his wife Pearl and their daughters Kayla and Maya; Christian Laughton, his wife Claudia and their son Alexander; and her daughter Michelle Lassiter, her husband James and their daughter Breanna.
A devout Catholic, Eleonore was a continuous member of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Fort Dix, NJ for 51 years. It was there, that each of her children received their First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation. Later, in 1995 she also began worshiping at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Hainesport, NJ where over the course of 26 years she served the parish as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and as a member of the Parish Council. Guided by her faith and love of the Lord, she was content with the knowledge that one day she would reunite with Mutti, her loving father and her two brothers. We, her family, celebrate her Eternal Life.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 AM Friday, February 5th, 2021 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Hainesport, NJ. Interment will be at Odd Fellows Cemetery, Pemberton Township, NJ.