Eileen Allen passed away on December 8, 2010 at the age of 76 years. She will be sadly missed by Peter, her husband of 47 years. Eileen also leaves behind her children, Tracey Gagnon (Tim) and Jackie Rode (Brett) of Calgary; four grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Jesse, Briana, Liam and Abbey. Eileen was born in Walthamstow, England and moved her family to Calgary in 1982. Eileen's strength and determination helped her fight through tuberculosis at the age of 17, breast cancer in 1986 and a heart attack in 1996 but lost the battle to pulmonary fibrosis. Eileen was a beautiful woman who would light up a room and enjoy a good laugh....
Eileen Allen passed away on December 8, 2010 at the age of 76 years. She will be sadly missed by Peter, her husband of 47 years. Eileen also leaves behind her children, Tracey Gagnon (Tim) and Jackie Rode (Brett) of Calgary; four grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Jesse, Briana, Liam and Abbey. Eileen was born in Walthamstow, England and moved her family to Calgary in 1982. Eileen's strength and determination helped her fight through tuberculosis at the age of 17, breast cancer in 1986 and a heart attack in 1996 but lost the battle to pulmonary fibrosis. Eileen was a beautiful woman who would light up a room and enjoy a good laugh. We love her so much. She will be dearly missed.
If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
We'd walk right up to heaven
And bring you home again.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at a visitation at South Calgary Funeral Centre, 12700 Macleod Trail South (at Lake Fraser Gate), Calgary on Thursday, December 16, 2010 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
A Funeral Service will be held at South Calgary Funeral Centre, 12700 Macleod Trail South, Calgary on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.
If friends so desire, memorial donations may be made directly to the Alberta Lung Association for Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, Box 4500, Station South, Edmonton, AB T6E 6K2.
Expressions of sympathy may be left for the family in the Guest Book section found adjacent to this obituary.
by Bonnie Roddis, Celebrant
We have gathered together today to honor the life and memories of a quiet caring and constant lady of family,
Eileen Ellen Allen...
Eileen's journey of life began January 23rd, 1934 in Walthamstow, England, a suburb of London. She was the last child of Jim and Jessie Myers. The Myer's children, Doll, Fred, Jim, Harry, Burt and Eileen were raised with love, acceptance and strong traditional values. By the time Eileen was about 5 years old WW II broke out, and Londoners in particular faced frightening times. The rationary was extreme, and families clung together never knowing what tomorrow might bring. Eileen was always a practical down to earth person who got through life well. She completed her schooling to the equivalent of our High School and of course joined the adult work force not long after. Her family life at home was good, and no matter where their individual life paths took them they always held each other close at heart. Eileen was always a hard worker, and an asset to any and all employers. On the job Eileen was always well liked, respected and befriended by her co-workers. While working alongside a childhood friend Phyllis, in the early 1960's, Eileen was introduced to a mutual friend Pete Allen; they struck a cord in each others hearts and knew quite quickly that they had found a special connection. In fact a short seven months after meeting, Pete popped the question and Eileen said yes. March 9, 1963 was their special day and they shared it with many family members and friends. Pete remembers it as being a wonderful day for all concerned, and soon they were off on the greatest life adventure so far - Marriage.
They moved to Sussex for Pete's career, and Eileen continued working until they were blessed with the arrival of their first child, daughter Tracey; life settled into a routine, and Eileen loved being a stay at home Mum. To quote Pete "She was an excellent Mum" caring, loving, connected. She was gentle, and understanding, and a wife and mother who could be counted on to keep everything in life running smoothly. Pete loved the basic solid English food that Eileen prepared; and her roast beef and yorkshire, so traditional on Sunday, was a favorite. Those Sunday dinners have come to be a very precious part of the memories made and shared over the years, even now they are looked forward to with happy participation. Eileen was an excellent pastry maker and Pete and family fondly remember the mouth watering apple pies and other delights she lovingly prepared for everyone.
Pete is proud of Eileen for so many reasons one in particular was how easily she made friends; her warmth and openness always put others at ease. He said "Eileen had the talent to be able to see both sides of an issue, and see almost instantly the best way to handle almost any situation." She supported him in every way in life, and when he would tense up in different situations, it was always his wifes perfect words and calm attitude that would still the restless seas.
Finally, after 5 years they were blessed with a second beautiful daughter, Jackie and now their branch of the Allen family tree was settled. Now, Eileen was Mum to two girls who both are unique individuals, both with their own distinct personalities and strengths, and yet they are alike as well. Both girls have wonderful memories of a Mum they say was the Best Mum. Eileen read tirelessly to Tracey, attended swim lessons with Jackie, and lovingly indulged them both. She set firm rules such as no dessert if you don't finish your dinner-and then, the softy that she was, would give them dessert anyway. Eileen nourished, nurtured and nudged her girls through those so important early years, helping to mold them into the remarkable women of family they are today. She showed by example the right way to do things, and she was a lady whose daughters are also ladies, women who love deeply, care for and protect their children; who partner their husbands as a partner should and they learned it all from Mum's example and advise.
By 1982 the girls of course were well established happy children and it was then that their parents began a new adventure. They decided to seek new opportunities in Canada. They had visited and liked it here in Alberta, and so decided, well into their forties to give it 2 years. Soon Canada became home; they began in Red Deer Lake, living with relatives and then settled in Calgary. Within 15 months they both had found good jobs and a new life began. Eileen worked as a School Board Custodian, and quickly endeared herself to both teachers, staff, and students. She always had a radio handy during work hours and that was a good ice breaker for everyone. Eileen had a passion for her home and family being together, at home pleased her, fulfilled her and gave her a sense of purpose. Eileen is fondly remembered today as a strong lady, both physically and emotionally, she was intuitive, kind, understanding, determined; as well she was a hard worker, someone who had little patience for frivolous things like hobbies. Eileen's special light of life and love drew others to her, she mothered almost everyone, and she was seen as a Mum to many. Her girls declared her to be the ultimate Mum, our Mum and they have set a standard for themselves in life- to hopefully be as good a Mum as Eileen was. Hopefully they can see for themselves that they have already achieved their goal for they too are constant, caring, nurturing involved Mum's... Today, Tracey and Jackie have a few memories and a poem to share, and at this time I would like to invite them to come forward.
(Jackie) Thank-you all for being here. We know that a lot of you may not have personally known Mum, so please allow us to share with you a couple of stories...Those of you that did know Mum, knew that she could turn a tense situation into something quite humorous. Nothing would annoy our Dad more than the madder he became, the harder Mum would laugh, she was known for her giggle fits. Keep an eye on the video of Mum trying on Tracey's wedding dress. I captured one of those giggle fits... Tracey had no idea she had tried on her dress.
(Tracey) Now, going back to Dad...we learned of this story most recently. Dad had quite the passion for fishing and even belonged to a fishing club before he married Mum. Since being married he hasn't picked up a rod in over 47years, but Mum always said "The biggest fish he ever caught was her!"
(Tracey) Mum made friends very easily, everyone loved her,even the local milkman...
(Jackie) A couple of years ago Dad went by ambulance to the Rocky View Hospital with a knee injury. He was placed in a holding area with Mum and taken care of by a couple of paramedics. When there was a shift change and the new paramedics showed up one of them looked at Mum and said "Hey, I know you!"
Mum replied, "I don't know you?"
"You lived on Canna Crescent, you used to have me in your home, and gave me hot chocolate on a cold winter's day" he said. It turned out that this paramedic was their old milk man.
(Tracey) Dad says the postman got special treatment too! That's our Mum for you. She was such a caring soul. So unique, so lovable, so perfect. Our Mum spelt M.U.M.
(Jackie) In conclusion I found this poem on the Internet, which brought a tear to my eye, that's why I'll make Tracey read it.
God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God's garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, "Peace be Thine."
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn't go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.
Eileen had her own unique and personal relationships with both of her beloved sons-in-law, Tim and Brett. She and Pete both felt blessed that their precious daughters have found wonderful life partners just as they have done. They say that grandchildren are god's compensation for our growing older, if that is true, Eileen must have felt very well compensated indeed, for she has shared life love and laughter with some truly wonderful young people. Jesse, Briana, Liam and Abbey have all shared good times while making everlasting memories with and for Nana. When Eileen fought through various tough medical challenges family were there, and she fought to stay with them, for they were her life. When she couldn't be very active, she'd sit and sing with Abbey. Abbey also carries Nana's name. Eileen's love and essence and lessons will continue on in these awesome children; they say that when you loose someone you love, you gain an angel you know and surely Nana will be watching over everyone. I will now call upon Briana, to share a reading.
Poem for Nana
Up in Heaven, high above,
I know you're here today.
Sending all your love.
Today we will remember you,
And say one last goodbye,
Celebrate the life you've had
And maybe have a cry.
You'll never be forgotten Nana,
I'll just close my eyes and see,
Your smiling face and feel your love
And you'll be close to me.
So dear Nana,
Up above the clouds so high
Even though you're no longer here,
In my heart you'll lie.
Love you Nana
The family have prepared a video tribute of Eileen's life and they invite you to watch with them now...(video plays)
Friendships were very important to Eileen and she enjoyed many friends on both sides of the world. There are far too many to mention individually at this time; however, to all of her friends we would like to say on her behalf, thank you for the moments and memories made and cherished and please remember me with laughter and kindness, for that is how I shall remember all of you, until we meet again. Wife, Mother, Nana, friend, co-worker, mother-in-law, so many roles filled to perfection. Daughter, sister too were roles where Eileen gave her best always, and she shall be lovingly remembered for her love, honesty, strength and unyielding faith in her family. Eileen Ellen Allen (try saying that 7 times fast) was a woman of deeply private beliefs and spiritualism; she was a good person in thought and deed, she has given for more than she has taken in her time among us. She was loved, respected, significant and influential she will always be in her families thoughts conversations memories and hearts. There is a brief poem that speaks to Eileen's beliefs and I would like to share it with you today.
When I walk to the Edge
Of all the light I have
And take that step into the darkness
Of the unknown,
I believe, one of two things will happen
There will be something solid for me to stand on
Or I will be taught to fly.
The Lord's Prayer
Who art in heaven.
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those
Who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil;
For thine is the Kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory, forever.
It seems only appropriate for us to close our time together with a reading chosen by Eileen's beloved daughters.
A Bouquet for Mother
In these busy, hectic lives we lead too often we forget,
To be thankful to the person to whom we owe our greatest debt.
Because roses will wither and then slowly fade away,
Instead I'll send a dozen thank yous in this gratitude bouquet.
Thank You, Mum for passing on what you've seen with your own eyes,
Sharing years of your life's lessons, so insightful... and so wise.
Thank You, Mum for the words you spoke while catching tears that I was crying.
"Even though you did not win the race, I am so proud of you for trying."
Thank You, Mum for always listening when I need to unburden my heart and
Somehow always piecing together what I believed had fallen apart.
Thank You, Mum for the open arms that always chased away my fear,
For the loving embrace of a mother can make the whole world disappear.
Thank You, Mum for the many tears that you shed on my behalf
And for pretending that my silly jokes always somehow made you laugh.
Thank You, Mum for sharing the disappointments when I'd failed
And the pride of my accomplishments in those times when I'd prevailed.
Thank You, Mum for creating the bond that time or distance cannot sever
And for making family memories that will be a part of me, forever.
Thank You, Mum for the encouragement when I'd put my ideas on a shelf,
For instilling in me the courage it takes to always believe in myself.
Thank You, Mum for the guidance through all my years of growing,
For somehow molding the way I'd live my life...without my ever knowing.
Thank You, Mum for your patience and understanding all along,
For those years I thought I was always right and that you were always wrong.
Thank You, Mum for letting me occupy that special place within your heart
That lets me feel the love you have for me even when we're far apart.
Thank You, Mum for teaching me the most valuable lesson I would learn,
That you can love someone with everything and expect nothing in return.
There is one more show of gratitude I must thank someone else, too
For the greatest blessing I've received. I thank God...who gave me you!
Thank you all for coming, this concludes our celebration of Eileen's life. Please join the family in the reception area for a time of fellowship and refreshment.