Eleanor J. Bader Papers
Scope and Contents
The collection documents the family and personal life, education, career, and community involvement of Eleanor J. Bader. Materials in the collection include personal, religious, and professional certificates, awards, and licenses; business and civic papers; conference materials; correspondence; photos; and memorabilia from her life and travels. The bulk of the collection covers Bader's career including her work with the Delaware Curative Workshop, the National Easter Seal Society, and the Social Security Administration. An oral history with Eleanor Bader can be found on the Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections website.
- circa 1922-2013, undated
- Other: Date acquired: 04/10/2010
- Bader, Eleanor J. (1922-2013) (Person)
16.40 Linear Feet
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.
Biographical or Historical Information
Eleanor Johanne Bader was born March 15, 1922, in Wilmington, Delaware. She is the daughter of John A. Bader II and Eleanor Verena Antweiler Bader and the second of three children, Francis, her older brother and Anne her younger sister.
She attended Ursuline Academy, a Catholic high school for girls, in Wilmington, graduating from high school in 1940. Ms. Bader graduated from the University of Delaware in December 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. She attended the Physical Therapy graduate program at the Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and was awarded a certificate in Physical Therapy in 1944. At that time, the University did not grant degrees in Physical Therapy.
Ms. Bader received her certification in physical therapy in 1946 from the American Registry of Physical Therapists. In October 1945, she joined the Delaware Curative Workshop in Wilmington, Delaware, as a founding member. The DCW was originally funded by the Junior League. Later it was funded in part by community donations under the Red Feather/Community Chest umbrella. The Red Feather and Community Chest organizations were founded in the late 19th century and were the forerunner of the United Way organizations. Ms. Bader was named Executive Director of the DCW in October 1950.
She resigned from the Delaware Curative Workshop in 1962 to take a position as Program Consultant with the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, now known as the Easter Seal Society, headquartered in Chicago. Ms. Bader relocated from Wilmington to Chicago to take this position. During her career with the Easter Seal organization, Ms. Bader held a number of positions, including Director, Care and Treatment Services, and Administrator for Programs. In 1971 Ms. Bader left the Easter Seal Society following reorganization. In 1971 Ms. Bader began her career in public service. Her first position was in the newly formed ACTION agency working on the Foster Grandparents program. In 1972 she moved to the Social Security Administration, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in Baltimore, Maryland. During her career with the Social Security Administration, Ms. Bader held a number of positions, including Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Supplemental Security, Services Coordinator for Evaluation, and Acting Director, OIRPC. During her career with the SSA, Ms. Bader received several commendations, including the Associate Commissioner’s Citation, 1980, and the Commissioner’s Citation, 1978. In 1984 she was named a Switzer Scholar. This annual award recognizes individuals for achievement in the field of rehabilitation. She participated in the Switzer Memorial Seminar that year. She retired from the federal government in 1985 as Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner for External Liaison. At that time she moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Ms. Bader has been committed to community involvement and civic engagement with professional, volunteer, and cultural organizations throughout her life. She continued a family tradition of civic engagement that she described as grounded in the experience of the World War I veterans who enthusiastically participated in civic life.
She was an active participant in professional organizations such as the American Physical Therapy Association and the National Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. She was a speaker at professional conferences throughout her career. In 1965 and 1967 Ms. Bader participated in the DIADEM program. This program was an exchange program fostering relationships between disabled Danish and American youth. In 1965 Ms. Bader organized a trip to Denmark and traveled there with an American delegation. Fifty-three young people travelled throughout Denmark, sightseeing and exploring the Danish rehabilitation system. Two years later Ms. Bader participated in DIADEM RETURN when a delegation from Denmark visited the United States. In 1985, she received the President’s Award of the National Association of Rehabilitation Facilities for “outstanding contributions to rehabilitation services for disabled persons.” She also received an award from the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.
Ms. Bader was a member of civic organizations such as the Pilot Club International and Beta Sigma Pi during her years in Wilmington, Delaware. She was on the boards of Catholic Social Services, Catholic Education Guild, Arthritis Foundation and the Delaware Easter Seal Society. She also was a member of a community chorus. She was an active alumna of her alma mater, the University of Delaware. In addition, she received the University Medal of Honor in 1984 in recognition of outstanding achievement.
In retirement she had been a volunteer with the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater. She had been a board member of the Virginia Opera Guild, which included a term as President, the State Board of the Virginia Opera Association and the Virginia Opera Association Hampton Roads Board of Governors. Ms. Bader was also in the Virginia Symphony League.
Eleanor Bader passed away on October 12, 2013 in her home at Westminster Canterbury in Virginia Beach.
1922 – Birth, Wilmington, Delaware
1940 – High School Graduation, Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Delaware
1943 – College Graduation, B.S. Health and Physical Education, University of Delaware
1944 – Certificate in Physical Therapy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1945 – Physical Therapist, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1945 – Founding Member of Delaware Curative Workshop, Wilmington, Delaware
1945 – Physical Therapist and Assistant Director, Delaware Curative Workshop, Wilmington, Delaware
1946 – Physical Therapy Certification, American Registry of Physical Therapists
1947 – Assistant Director and Chief Physical Therapist, Delaware Curative Workshop, Wilmington, Delaware
1950 – Executive Director, Delaware Curative Workshop, Wilmington, Delaware
1961 – Resigned as Executive Director of the Delaware Curative Workshop
1962 – Program Consultant, The National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Chicago, Illinois
1964 – Director of Care and Treatment Services, The National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Chicago, Illinois
1965 – DIADEM Trip
1967 – DIADEM Return
1967 – Administrator for Programs, The National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Chicago, Illinois
1971 – Left National Easter Seal Society as a result of reorganization.
1971 – Consultant, Domestic and Anti-Poverty Operations Older American Volunteer Programs, ACTION, Washington, D.C.
1972 – Acting Chief of the Foster Grandparents Program, ACTION, Washington, D.C.
1972 – Special Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Administration, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Baltimore, Maryland
1974 – Director of Organization Liaison, Social Security Administration
1978 -- Acting Director, OIRPC, Social Security Administration, Washington, D.C.
1979 – Special Assistant for External Liaison, Social Security Administration, Washington, D.C.
1985 – Retired and moved to Virginia Beach
1986 – Joined Virginia Opera Association
1987 – Joined Virginia Opera Guild
1987 – Became a Virginia Opera Docent
1988 – Joined Virginia Symphony Orchestra League
2013 – Death, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Note written by Mel Frizzell; Kathleen Smith
Language of Materials
Chronicling the family and personal life, education, career, and community involvement of Eleanor J. Bader. Career includes work with the Delaware Curative Workshop, the National Easter Seal Society, and the Social Security Administration. Community involvment includes membership and volunteer work for the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Symphony, Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater, WHRO, and many other professional and civic organizations in Virginia and Delaware. Materials in the collection include personal, religious, and professional certificates, awards, and licenses; business and civic papers; conference materials; correspondence; photos; and memorabilia from her life and travels.
The collection is organized into seven series: Series I: Personal and Family; Series II: Education; Series III: Career; Series IV: Organizations; Series V: Miscellaneous; Series VI: Multimedia; and Series VII: Oversize Materials, Memorabilia, and Artifacts.
Source of Acquisition
Eleanor J. Bader
Method of Acquisition
Gift. Accession #A2010-10
Accruals and Additions
A second accession was received in 2013.
The finding aid was created by Mel Frizzell, Special Collections Assistant, from 2010-2011.
- American Physical Therapy Association
- Beta Sigma Phi
- Civic leaders--United States
- Delivering Inclusive Access to Disabled and Elderly Members (DIADEM)
- Foster Grandparent Program (U.S.)
- National Easter Seal Society (U.S.)
- Physical therapists--United States
- United States. Social Security Administration
- Virginia Opera Association
- Virginia Symphony
- Voluntarism--United States
- A Guide to the Eleanor J. Bader Papers
- Mel Frizzell
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- 05/14/2013: The finding aid was revised in 2013 after an addition to the collection was received.