Eileen R. McKenzie was welcomed into the arms of her Lord on Feb. 6, 2013. Formerly of Milan, Eileen had resided at Sunrise Assisted Living in Schaumburg, Ill., during the past two years.
Friends and family are invited to call at Trimble Funeral and Cremation Center, Coal Valley, between 1 and 4 p.m. on Sunday, where a rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating her life will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, Coal Valley, with Father Michael Schaab officiating. Burial will be at Rock Island National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 210 E. 22nd Ave., Coal Valley, IL 61240; or to Alleman Catholic High School, 1103 40th St., Rock Island, IL 61201.
The former Eileen Ruth Hermes was born April 2, 1924, in Port Byron, the eldest daughter of Wilbur T. and Albina Hermes, nee Brennan. Eileen and the love of her life, Owen B. McKenzie, were joined in Holy Matrimony on June 23, 1945, in Rapids City. They enjoyed nearly 60 years together, until his passing in 2005.
Ever the gracious hostess, Eileen relished entertaining family and friends gathered around the dining room table and at the much-anticipated annual October hayride. Always a pro in the kitchen, she turned to catering as a part-time career. Her culinary skills were highly sought after by many families and business concerns, in addition to civic and social organizations throughout the Quad-Cities area. Prior to her marriage, she worked for John Deere and Eagle Signal.
Eileen was an active member of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church and the Rock Island County Home Extension. Compassion and caring were hallmarks of Eileen's character. Whether assisting with Masses at Oak Glen Convalescent Home, baking for a funeral luncheon for a member of her church, or volunteering at St. Joseph's Church Soup Kitchen, she was always willing to answer the call of those in need.
Harkening back to her roots as a farmer's daughter, she loved bountiful gardens, feathered friends and baby farm animals. Among her passions were traveling with Owen and family. She enjoyed sharing her many photo albums filled with memories of vacations around the world. Because she was so proud of her heritage, Eileen's sparkling blue eyes would light up whenever the discussion turned to anything Irish.
Eileen is survived by her children, Jenifer McKenzie, Palatine, Ill., Michelle McKenzie, Moline, Molly McKenzie, and her husband, Thomas Holbrook, Belleville, Ill., Thomas McKenzie, and his wife, Judy, Irving, Texas; daughter-in-law, Christine McKenzie, Moline; sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Don Frits, Port Byron; and sister-in-law, Dolores McKenzie, Albia, Iowa. Four grandchildren brought her immense pride and joy: Katie (Jared) Montgomery, Davenport, Betsy Harper, Moline, Andrew (Erica) McKenzie, Moline, and Peter McKenzie, Milan. Seven great-grandchildren continue Eileen's legacy. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son, Gregory McKenzie; and her sister, Mary Jo Bohnert.
The family wishes to thank the kind staff of Sunrise Schaumburg for making Eileen feel special and loved, and to gratefully recognize VITAS Hospice for guiding her peacefully into eternity.
Devotion to her faith and family guided Eileen's daily life. For all of us who knew and loved her, she will forever remain in our hearts.
The family invites you to share stories and condolences and light a candle in Eileen's memory at www.TrimbleFuneralHomes.com.