EILEEN E. GEORGE
July 25, 1928 – December 21, 2020
Eileen passed away peacefully at Grace Hospital on December 21, 2020, after a gentle decline into old age. She had turned 92 this past July.
A kind and gentle lady, she also had a quick wit and playful sense of humour.
Born in the family’s home in Winnipeg, Eileen grew up during the Great Depression, and along with her parents and older sister Girnith, experienced some of the hardships of that time. Education was important to the family, as was hard work, along with time for music, art and reading.
As a child, Eileen suffered from frequent chest colds, and the doctor recommended relocation - out to the country or perhaps California. Thus, her mother took a teaching job in Buchan MB, and she and the two girls moved to the country. With jobs scarce, her father stayed in Winnipeg to work and visited the family on weekends, coming out by bus Friday night, and spending much of the weekend chopping wood for the stoves in their cottage and the school.
During WWII, the family relocated to Ontario where her father was engaged in civilian contributions to the war effort. Although still in high school, Eileen and Girnith were members of the Ontario Farm Service Force and worked in the orchards picking cherries and peaches during summer vacations. It meant long hours standing on a ladder and pay was a princely 25 cents an hour, but many of the young women working together stayed friends for the rest of their lives.
The family returned to Winnipeg and Eileen graduated from Gordon Bell in 1946, lettering in both basketball and badminton. In August of that year, she began work as a permit teacher in Poplar Heights. The following year she completed training at Normal School and embarked on a lifelong career as a teacher, retiring in 1986. Eileen had many wonderful memories of her students, friends and colleagues and the wonderful years teaching at Inkster, Laura Secord, Riverview and Wellington Schools in Winnipeg and the two years overseas when she taught the children of 2 Wing Air Force personnel at the DND school in Grostenquin, France from 1961-62.
Eileen loved to travel. She crossed the Atlantic by ship five times, hitchhiked in Denmark, and drove around Western Europe in a rental Peugeot, with a varying group of family and friends. Greece, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Malta, England, Scotland, Ireland and more all appear in her extensive collection of photo albums. The bus and train trips of youth evolved into road trips by car, group tours, and winter vacations and cruises after retirement.
Eileen also loved learning. She went back to school to earn her Bachelor of Education degree in 1969 and was adding to her credentials with grad studies into the 1980s. She particularly enjoyed teaching and studying literature and language. Whenever possible she loved combining travel with learning, taking several courses/trips through the U of M, U of W, and Elderhostel. She kept beautiful albums documenting her trips with her own photos, notes and post cards.
Eileen loved and supported her nephew and nieces, and later her great niece and great nephews. She attended Christmas concerts, hockey games, choir concerts, graduations and birthdays. She was always ready for a family party and will be greatly missed at future gatherings. Her cottage at Belair, complete with outdoor biffy and no hot water (at first) was one of her favourite places to share with family and friends. She frequently took her young nieces and nephew down to the cottage to enjoy the beach, play board games, read books, look at the sunset and pick wild berries and flowers.
Eileen had a very full life with activities at Church, golfing, walking club, singing and art classes, playing piano, theatre and concert outings, and keeping in touch with her many friends. She had an ongoing interest in local history and was a patroness of the Lord Selkirk Association of Rupertsland.
Although her health had been declining in the last few years, she was able to enjoy life in her own apartment until the very last day. If you called to ask how she was doing, she would respond with a cheeky, “Upright”. Many thanks to the wonderful caregivers of the WRHA, the management and staff of the Boulton Retirement Community, and her companions from Home Care Assistance.
Eileen was predeceased by her father, Alan George; mother Elsie (Finnie) George; sister Girnith (George) Stewart; and brother-in-law Lawrence Stewart. She will truly be missed by her nephew and nieces: George, Laura Jean and Harriet; their spouses and children; as well as her cousins, (fondly remembered as the playmates of her youth), and many friends.
As per her request, cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will be held when circumstances permit. In the meantime, Eileen’s family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by watching the photo-biography above. They also encourage the sharing of photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.
ETHICAL DEATH CARE
Cremation & Life Celebrations
530 St, Mary Avenue - Winnipeg
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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