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Eileen O'Leary


1929 - 2020
Eileen O'Leary Obituary
Eileen O'Leary died suddenly on Sunday, February 9, 2020 at her home in Hanover, MI. She was 90.

Eileen Therese Killeen was born in Detroit on April 30, 1929, the sixth of seven children born to Jeremiah and Loretta Killeen. A lifelong Catholic, following her graduation from St. Mary's of Redford in 1947, Eileen joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters, taking the religious name Sr. John Emmett IHM.

Eileen loved children. Over 40 years of her life were spent teaching in the classroom, helping 5th and 6th graders learn and grow. She initially taught in various Catholic schools, including St. Joseph in Erie (1950-51); St. Raymond in Detroit (1952-56); Holy Cross in Marine City (1956-57); St. Matthew in Flint (1957-59); St. Frederick Mission/St. Vincent de Paul in Pontiac (1959-1962); St. Philip in Battle Creek (1962-1963); Holy Trinity in Detroit (1963-67); and Holy Redeemer in Detroit (1967-68). While working full-time, she earned her bachelor's degree in education from Marygrove College (1965) and a master's degree in elementary education from Wayne State University (1967).

Following her departure from religious life, Eileen met the love of her life, Laurence Bernard O'Leary, whom she married on June 20, 1970 at St. Joseph Church and Shrine in Irish Hills. They were happily married for 35 years until his death on December 17, 2005.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Eileen served in the Dearborn Public Schools system, teaching at Haigh (1969-72); DuVall (1972-75), Ten Eyck (1975-76), Snow Elementary (1976-82), Oakman (1982-83) and Salina (1983-89), before retiring in 1989.

A lifelong Democrat, Eileen was known for her gregarious nature and her love of all things Irish. While she didn't mince words or hesitate to give her opinion, her warmth, kindness and generosity knew no bounds.

Eileen is predeceased by her beloved husband, Laurence; her son Kevin (Diane) of Ackerson Lake, MI; her grandson Colin O'Leary; and her siblings John (Dale) Killeen, Loretta Geraldine (Bob) Schulte, Margaret (John) Van Dusen, Emmet (Carmelita) Killeen and Sr. Rita Killeen IHM.

She is survived by her sons Stephen (Anne Marie) of Brighton, MI and Brian of Reynoldsville, PA; her daughter-in-law Diane of Ackerson Lake, MI; her sister Veronica (Charles) Pelzer of Saginaw, MI; and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

As she requested, Eileen has been cremated. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 120 E. Wesley Street, Jackson, MI. Monsignor Bernard Reilly will officiate. Family and friends are welcome at the church beginning at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow the mass. Internment will be at St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Jackson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 510 West Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162.



Published in Detroit Free Press & The Detroit News from Feb. 12 to Feb. 14, 2020
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