Eileen Margaret Sullivan Weaver, 80, lived a full and blessed life. She passed away peacefully on November 17, 2018, surrounded by her loving children.
Eileen was born on September 24, 1938 in Evanston, Illinois. She was the third of four children born to Raymond and Louise Sullivan. Eileen and her siblings, David, Mary Esther, and Susan, grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. She had an idyllic childhood and was very close to all of her siblings. In 1940, Eileen’s parents purchased a farm house on 142 acres of land in Spring Grove, Illinois. They named the house Pleasant Hill Farm and the family spent every summer there. Eileen had countless fond memories of her childhood at the farm; swinging on the tire swing, riding their pony “Pekin”, fishing down by the creek, playing Yoller out in the corn fields at dark, card games, grilled corn on the cob and homemade apple and cherry pies with fruit picked from the family orchard, 4 th of July fireworks celebrations at the house, the county fair and the Catholic Church festival.
Back in Park Ridge, Eileen attended St. Paul of The Cross Grade School and St. Scholastica High School, graduating in 1956. She was a conscientious and dedicated student. She was also an accomplished pianist having taken lessons for 12 years. Her devotion to her Catholic faith began at an early age. During her youth, she often thought about becoming a nun. Eileen loved going to daily Mass and would often walk a mile in the snow and darkness in the morning to go to Mass before school started. Her little sister, Susie, would often accompany her on those early morning walks.
Eileen attended Marquette University for two years and then transferred to the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana to receive her teaching credentials in 1960. In the summer following graduation, she spent all three months touring throughout Europe. Her mother instilled in her a love of travel and wanted Eileen to see the world before she settled into her career. Following her summer abroad, Eileen became the youngest teacher hired in Prospect, Illinois, when she took her first teaching position at a local elementary school. A newspaper article was written about her and she saved it for decades in a scrapbook she shared with her children. She loved to teach and was a natural in the classroom. Eileen always strove to find new ways to engage her students and to create a love of learning early on in their lives.
Eileen became an aunt at an early age and adored her nieces and nephews. She loved spending time with each of them and watching them grow up. She was very close with her mother and father, her sisters and her brother and she loved being near her family.
In 1962, at the urging of her mother, she moved across the country to California. She shared an apartment with her dear friends Nancy Evanson and Dale Snyder and later with her sister, Susie. While living in South Pasadena, she met a handsome young man from Michigan who stole her heart. Robert “Bob” Michael Weaver was the love of her life. He called her his “Rare Pearl”. They joined their hearts and souls in marriage on February 13, 1965.
Eileen and Bob began married life in Downey, California. Eileen couldn’t wait to become a mother and was thrilled to welcome their first-born son, Michael Robert, into the world in 1967, followed quickly by their daughter, Lisa Eileen, in 1968 and their youngest son, Kevin Doyle, in 1971. Eileen and Bob loved their years in California and felt blessed to be able to raise their children surrounded by a wonderful and close-knit group of friends and family.
Summer days and weekends were spent at Seal Beach or Big Bear, participating in Indian Maidens and Indian Guides with the kids, playing Bridge with their friends or having get-togethers by someone’s pool. Holidays were spent at her brother David’s house in Pomona with her sister Susie and her niece and nephews. Eileen loved taking her children back to the farm during the summers as well. She enjoyed spending time with her parents and her sister Mary’s family, watching the mid-summer lightning storms or sitting on the front porch while her children caught fireflies in the fields. Eileen went back to teaching when her children were in grade school. She always felt that this was her calling in life and she was exceptional at it. Eileen supported Bob in his business ventures and they worked as a team in raising their children.
In December of 1978, Eileen and Bob made the decision to move their family to Redland, Oregon. They both loved their midwest upbringing and wanted to give their children a childhood like their own. They bought a home on three acres and Eileen spent countless hours decorating the house with her favorite antiques. She took up toll painting. As their children grew, Eileen and Bob did what most loving parents do. They attended every baseball, softball and football game their children played. They participated in every parent group and booster club. They took the kids camping every summer on the Metolius River and would often travel back to California, Illinois or Michigan to visit family. They created a home filled with love and incredible memories for their children.
Eileen loved the holidays. Every single one of them. And she dressed for the occasion every chance she got. Any and every kind of holiday sweater, twinkling necklace, silly headband or blinking pin was worn with great pride. Her favorite season was Christmas and she loved to celebrate it with her family. She was always the life of every party and dressed to the nines wherever she went.
An avid college football fan, she and Bob would religiously watch any game they could find on television. Eileen’s favorite team was Notre Dame, followed by her alma mater, University of Illinois. The only time they ever disagreed about who they were cheering for was when Illinois played Michigan. It was a game they looked forward to watching together every year.
In 1980, Eileen took her first teaching job in Oregon as the 1st Grade teacher at St. John the Apostle Catholic School. She worked there until 1987. She then created the first all-day Kindergarten at Christ the King Catholic School where she worked from 1988-2006 with her teaching assistant, Mary Quiray. They were an incredible team. During the course of her lifetime, Eileen educated over 1300 students including two of her grandchildren. Her classrooms were bright, happy places. Eileen believed that all children were perfect in God’s eyes and that everyone was born with unique and special gifts. She felt it was a teacher’s job to nurture those gifts and to make each child that entered her classroom feel confident and loved. Eileen was blessed to work with so many other incredible educators and friends who felt the same way she did. She truly believed that being a teacher was a gift.
More than anything else in the world, Eileen loved her family. She defined her worth by her role as a wife, a mother and a friend. Eileen loved spending time with her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. She welcomed her two daughters-in-law, Stacey and Kristy, and her son-in-law, Eric, into her family as if they were her own children.
Of all of the roles in life that Eileen embraced, the two she enjoyed the most were being a mother and a grandmother. She was a natural at it. Nurturing, kind, always available for a hug or just to listen about their day, she provided a loving and accepting presence in the lives of her children and grandchildren. She loved hearing about her children’s accomplishments and praised them whenever she could. Eileen loved to laugh and had a fantastic sense of humor. She often found herself the topic of good-natured ribbing from her children and was always the first to laugh at her own expense. She loved being at the center of so many funny stories. She taught each of her children the value of laughter and that the best way to get through life is to find humor in the hard moments.
Eileen and Bob were blessed with five beautiful grandchildren and they adored each and every one of them. Meema was so proud of Madison, Bailey, Hannah, Olivia and Drew and she loved spending time with them, watching them grow up and just being a part of their lives. She lovingly bragged about them every chance she got.
After Eileen retired from teaching, she and Bob spent many wonderful years contently puttering around their home in Oregon City. Eileen and Bob were the best of friends and constant companions. In 2014, Eileen lost the love of her life when Bob passed away. They had been married almost 50 years. Theirs was a love for the ages.
In her final years, she loved spending time with her best friend, Christine Jurgenson, who doted on her and always kept her laughing. She spent many of her Mondays with her son, Kevin, and loved going out to lunch and shopping with him. She looked forward to every holiday or special occasion that she could spend with her children and grandchildren.
Eileen was a woman of great faith, character and integrity. She had a profound and devout faith in God and a commitment to the Catholic Church that was inspiring to witness. She loved going to Mass and truly felt lifted up by God’s love and glory. She loved music and would often be brought to tears by a song that touched her heart.
Eileen was unfailingly kind and wonderfully curious. If she had a moment to talk with you, even if she had just met you, she would ask you about your life. She had a deep desire to connect with the people around her. She wanted everyone she met to know that she truly saw them and that they mattered. She had the bravest heart and the sweetest soul. She was the very definition of generosity. She was humble and kind and she had a smile that could melt your heart and a laugh that sounded like pure joy. Her hugs were legendary. You felt wrapped up in love every time you were in her embrace. Eileen had this incredible ability to make everyone around her feel special and unique and unconditionally accepted. Anyone who knew her loved her. Her legacy of faith, kindness and love will live on in the hearts of her family and friends forever.
Her husband, Robert Michael Weaver, as well as her parents, Raymond and Louise Sullivan, and her niece, Kathy Schiller Peglow, preceded her in death. She is survived by her loving children and their spouses, Michael and Stacey Weaver, Lisa and Eric Bergeson, and Kevin and Kristy Weaver and her five grandchildren, Madison Weaver, Bailey Weaver, Hannah Bergeson, Olivia Bergeson and Andrew Bergeson. She is also survived by her siblings, David Sullivan, Mary Sullivan Schiller Schaffer and Susan Sullivan Powers as well as her nephews and nieces, Louise Schiller Gagliano, Thomas Schiller, Nancy Schiller, Maureen Schiller Kolkau, Elizabeth Sullivan Galvan, Sean Sullivan and Tim Sullivan and their spouses and children.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Oregon City on Thursday, November 29 th , 2018 at 11:00am with a 10:30am Rosary preceding the service. A reception will follow at The Tumwater Room above the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City. Eileen loved flowers, especially roses. The family is planning on donating many of the arrangements to Royalton Place Senior Living after the service.