MANCHESTER - Eileen Stamowlaros, 90, of Manchester, died Sept. 13, 2012, at the home of her son, Mark, in Phoenix, Ariz., surrounded by her family.
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She was born in Boston on July 1, 1922, to Joseph and Lillian (Sibulkin) Ross. She lived in Manchester for most of her life.
At age 4 she was a blossoming ballerina. By age 5 she wowed onlookers with her talent for singing and dancing while on a big band cruise with her parents. By age 16, Eileen had successfully entered the entertainment world as a professional performer. Singing mostly love ballads, Eileen and her pianist performed at the most prestigious nightclubs of New York City's East Side.
Throughout her career as a performer, Eileen rubbed elbows with the musical icons of the World War II era. She loved to reminisce about how they would gather together after the clubs shut down for the evening. All of the night club workers would meet over at 52nd street with stars such as Duke Ellington and Sammy Davis Jr. and they would listen to performers play Dixieland Jazz.
Eileen's career as a night club singer ended in her mid-30s, however, she continued to share her talents and would sing at benefits and debutant parties with performers such as Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett.
In her mid-30s and still looking fabulous, the man of her dreams swept her away and she married James Stamowlaros. They settled into their home in New Hampshire where she evolved as a wife and mother of three children. James passed away 13 years ago but Eileen held on dearly to his urn until the day she would join him in their family burial plot.
She was an active Easter Seals volunteer and had served on its advisory board. Until three months ago she had continued exercising at Planet Fitness and continued to network within the local community.
In 2011 she was diagnosed with colon cancer, her third cancer fight in over 13 years. The first two were breast cancer. She was considered a breast cancer survivor.
Unfortunately, in early July of 2012, Eileen fell at home and fractured her hip. She spent several weeks at Hackett Hill Rehabilitation center where the staff helped her regain her strength. Later in August she relocated to Phoenix, Ariz., in order to convalesce with her son, Mark. In the end Eileen passed away with much love and dignity. We thank all who cared for her, especially Seasons Hospice who made her final days comforting. She will be missed by all her family and friends.
Family members include her daughter, Carolyn Blankenfeld and her husband, Christopher, of Lillian, Ala.; two sons, Mark Stamowlaros of Phoenix, Ariz., and Michael Stamowlaros and his wife, Gail, of Chichester; six grandchildren, Mary Stamowlaros-Bates, Rebecca Paquette, Austin Moore, Jennifer Moore, Sheldon Blankenfeld, and Brianna Blankenfeld; and two great-grandchildren, Eric Paquette Jr. and Alexandria Paquette.
SERVICES: Calling hours at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm St., corner of North Street, Manchester, are Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. A memorial service will take place in the funeral home on Wednesday at 11 a.m. with burial to follow on Thursday at 10 a.m. in Pine Grove Cemetery.
To leave a message of condolence visit www.lambertfuneralhome.com.
Published in Union Leader on Sept. 17, 2012