Dec. 14, 1957 — Nov. 8, 2017
JOHNSON — It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Eileen as a result of an automobile accident.
She leaves behind her children and soon-to-be grandchildren, Kelly (Russell) and Dean Locke along with Baby Locke due December 2017, and Charles and Sadie (Bushey) Russell along with Baby Russell also due December 2017.
Eileen grew up on a farm in Shelburne, the daughter of George and Helen O’Brien. She graduated from Rice High School and CCV.
Throughout her life Eileen focused on enriching the lives of family and friends. She was clear on her priorities and lived her life to the fullest. She enjoyed travel with family and made memories with her trip to Ireland with Kelly, Dean, Chuck and Sadie, her trips to Kentucky and Mississippi to research family genealogy, vacations to Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach with friends and family. She was looking forward to a return trip to Ireland in January 2018.
She was a quiet presence, a generous, behind-the-scenes worker who made things easier for others.
Eileen’s compassion and gentle manner provided a supportive, positive life for those for whom she cared. When her children were young, she combined being a stay-at-home mom with opening their home as an assisted living residence. She was winding down at her current in-home elder care position to allow her to take on her most coveted role providing childcare for her grandchildren.
Her volunteer time at the Respite House enriched the lives of many residents through her loving care.
Eileen also volunteered for many years at the Ruggles House. The residents looked forward to the monthly community dinners she planned.
Her sense of humor was unique — her smile and laughter were contagious and brightened family gatherings.
In addition to her children, she is survived by her siblings: Sharon (Jim) Hickey, Rebecca (Bill) Ramsey, P. Dennis O’Brien, Maureen O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Susan O’Brien, Tom O’Brien, Kary (Jeff) Towne, Kathleen O’Brien. Eileen also leaves 16 nieces and nephews and their families, each with their own memories of Aunt Eileen: Steve Dassatti, Anna Muzaffar, Nate Towne, Nick Towne, Joe Curran, Melissa Curran, Shaun O’Brien, Tim O’Brien, Karla Van Kleeck, Greg Van Kleeck, Sheana O’Brien, Dennis O’Brien, Tory Petrosyan, Wil Ramsey, Jackson Hickey and Grace Hickey.
She is also survived by a large extended family.
She was predeceased by: her parents, her brother Kevin O’Brien, her brothers-in-law Frank Curran and Bob Van Kleeck.
Her family would like to take this opportunity to ask people to consider their actions before they get behind the wheel of a car and before allowing someone who is impaired to get behind the wheel. Not only did the world lose an amazing woman, but our mom lost the opportunity to meet her grandkids. There was nothing she wanted more in life than to be a grandmother, surrounded by family. We will now strive to parent as well as she did, to teach our children empathy and understanding, in her memory.
We would like to thank Northern EMS, the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department, and the Johnson Fire Department for the comfort and care they provided our mom in her final moments.
A celebration of Eileen’s life will be held Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at the Holiday Inn, 1068 Williston Rd., South Burlington, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to your local Special Olympics chapter or that you get involved and volunteer in local community organizations.