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BODIL MERETE DARRAGH, age 65, of Elburn, passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 31, 2012 . Released from her battle with cancer, she is now free to claim the promise of her Savior and once again be reunited with her loving husband Thomas. BORN: She was born September 13, 1946, in Odense, Denmark, the daughter of Martin and Ingeborg (Larsen) Nielsen. EARLY YEARS:Bodil grew up in Odense and attended local schools. Following her graduation from Korsloekeskolen in 1962, Bodil continued her education at Tietgenskolen, a local business school. She had a passion for journalism and worked for a time at Fyens Stefftstedende, a daily newspaper. It was while working there in 1966 that she came upon the opportunity to nanny for an American family living in Germany. Bodil celebrated her 21st birthday by following the Andrew’s family back to the United States and settled with them in San Antonio, TX. During that time she began her storied 42 year legacy as a Flight Attendant with American Airlines. MARRIAGE: Bodil met the future love of her life at a local restaurant in Marina City in Chicago, Tom Darragh got her attention by singing the Danish National Anthem. He had her heart from that day forward and following a whirlwind courtship they were united in marriage December 11, 1971 at St. Albani Church in Odense, Denmark. They began their new life together in Beverly Hills, Chicago for a time before settling in Elburn in 1983. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORY:Through her work as a flight attendant, her crew became her second family and together they made memories and friends all over the world. Her favorite places increased as fast as the expansion of American Airlines international routes. In the air, her calm and kind demeanor reigned supreme, making even the most heart racing moments bearable, once receiving an award for evacuating over 160 passengers following an emergency landing when an engine caught on fire. Bodil passed on the love of flying to her sons but her tranquility while flying never made it to her daughters, but all enjoyed traveling. No matter how many hours she worked, the family always came together to hear her stories over wine and cheese at her most favorite place of all, home. When not working, she often traveled for fun with friends, taking cruises, seeing the Great Wall of China and taking walking tours in Italy. When stateside, Bodil enjoyed lunches in Chicago and going to the theatre and seeing the best the stage had to offer. Her children’s happiness was important but their education was paramount. Each was taught the importance of school but also the strength of family and of faith. Bodil taught by example, showing through her actions how to care for others, even those she didn’t know. She had the most generous heart and lived by the creed that what is freely received should be freely given. Bodil lived life to the fullest, making every moment count, but never forgot to put others in front of herself. Even in the last days, her life fading and full of pain, Bodil was focused on her family, putting them at ease with gentle words in the way only a loving mother can. She will never be forgotten and her lessons on how to live your life will last for generations. SURVIVORS: She is survived by five children:Meghan (Scott Pollack) Darragh and their children Catherine, Logan, and Lucas, of Lake In The Hills, IL;Kathleen (Christopher) Brungardt and their children Heuer, Elsa and Claudia of Hays, KS;Bernadette (Matthew) Henry and their children Finnegan and Connor, of St. Charles, IL;Thomas (Jodi Van Naarden) Darragh Jr. of Charlotte, NC and Colin Darragh of Charlotte, NC;Her mother, Ingeborg Nielsen of Odense, Denmark;One sister, Birgit Nielsen, also of Odense, Denmark;PRECEDED:She is preceded in death by her husband Thomas Sr. and her father Martin Nielsen.VISITATION / FUNERAL A funeral service to celebrate her life and faith will be on Friday, February 3, 2012, at St. Patrick Mission Catholic Church, 6N491 Crane Rd., St. Charles, IL, at 9:30 a.m. Monsignor Joseph Linster, pastor of the church will officiate with private family interment to follow cremation at a later date. MEMORIAL In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent directly either to The Skin Cancer Foundation at www.skincancer.org or Melanoma Research Foundation at www.melanoma.org. Tributes may be forwarded in her name to P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119 or on the web at www.conleycare.com.
A funeral service to celebrate her life and faith will be on Friday, February 3, 2012, at St. Patrick Mission Catholic Church, 6N491 Crane Rd., St. Charles, IL, at 9:30 a.m. Monsignor Joseph Linster, pastor of the church will officiate with private family interment to follow cremation at a later date.