Obituary: Eloise Sterrie Cadman

Homemaker, community volunteer, world traveler

Eloise Sterrie Cadman died July 24 at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Claremont. She was 93 years old.

She was born January 7, 1928, in St. James, Minnesota, to Ole Sterrie and Ella Anderson Sterrie, in the same hospital where her future husband was born 33 days later. She attended elementary and high school in St. James, playing saxophone in the marching and swing bands and editing the school newspaper. She went on to graduate from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and later earned a teaching credential at the University of Minnesota.

She was married on June 22, 1952, to Norman Cadman, who was then a medical student at the University of Chicago.

She delighted in her career as an elementary school teacher, in Flossmoor, Illinois; Minneapolis; Rochester, Minnesota; Nagoya, Japan; and Kijabe, Kenya. She doted on little children, and once she started having her own, there was no stopping her. The first was born in Japan, where she lived for three years with her U.S. Air Force Medical Corps husband in the 1950s.

She moved to Claremont in 1962, and undertook with gusto her role as homemaker, routinely cooking for eight. She enjoyed hiking and camping with family, canoeing in the Quetico Boundary Waters, and skiing. She was an avid reader. She regularly attended the Los Angeles Opera and the L.A. Philharmonic and two theaters.

This proper girl who grew up in rural Minnesota during the Depression was dead game for adventure. With her husband she traveled to more than 60 countries, often by motorcar, including working as a volunteer in six of them (Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Eritrea, Uganda and Peru). She rode throughout Iran in a taxicab for a month in 1997, when no Americans were going there. She traveled the Trans-Siberian Railway, Moscow to Beijing, in four ordinary passenger trains. On two occasions she spent a month hopping a dozen trains—second class two-tier sleeper, essentially a 46-bunk barracks—through India, to the bemusement of her fellow passengers. She went up the Mahakam River in Borneo in a motorized canoe and danced with the Dayak headhunters. She trekked through the mountain jungle of Rwanda to meet the silverback gorillas.

She was a longtime member of the boards of the David and Margaret Home and the Claremont Community School of Music, chairing both. She encouraged her children to be instrumentalists.

She was active in Carleton College alumni affairs.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Jane Ellen Cadman.

She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Dr. Norman Cadman; children Mary (David) Wallaker, Dr. Sarah Cadman, Dr. Christopher (Renee) Cadman, Dr. Peter (Dr. Karen) Cadman, Edward (Sandra) Cadman; six grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Her loving husband has been heard to say, “She was an incredible mate. No one else would have done.”

Her children agree.

Interment will be in a private graveside family gathering.


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