Born in Melrose on Oct. 1, 1924, Eileen graduated from Melrose High School. She was married in 1945 and settled in Melrose. While her husband worked, she devoted herself to being a caring wife and doting mother.
She was a very active member of the First United Methodist Church and brought her family up to be a part of church life. A natural leader and take charge person, she was very involved with many aspects of the church including the annual holiday fair and Women’s Guild.
After her five children were grown and, following the death of her husband, she reevaluated her interests and adjusted her mindset to a new way of life. She sought opportunities to broaden her life and became a sociable, active member of her community. She began traveling with her friends, volunteering at the Milano Senior Center and, most impressive of all, learned how to drive at age 58.
She dedicated much of her time giving back to the City of Melrose and made a special effort to improve the lives of the elderly. For 20 years, she served as the chairwoman of the Melrose Friends of the Aging, a non-profit group that supports the programs and events at the Milano Senior Center. She organized many activities, parties, social events and outings at the Senior Center. Known for being progressive, she was instrumental in helping bring new technology to the Senior Center with the addition of the computer lab. She also happily drove many neighbors and friends to doctors’ appointments through the FISH program. Through all of her time and effort, she contributed to making Melrose a more enjoyable place for seniors.
When not volunteering at the Senior Center, Eileen was a regular volunteer usher at the North Shore Music Theater in Beverly for 15 years. She also worked the Melrose polls during election season and helped administer flu shots through the Melrose Board of Health. Wherever she was, Eileen was organizing, directing or simply working to make something happen.
More than anything, Eileen’s legacy lives on through the hearts and minds of her family. She made it her life’s goal to foster a supportive family unit for her children. Through her steadfast dedication to instilling family values in her children, she was able to create a source of strength and love for her family to rely on for future generations.
She will be remembered for her love of gathering everyone together whether just for holidays or during the summer at the “beach house” on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.
She was the beloved wife of the late Richard Olsen with whom she shared 37 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of Jean M. Galvin of Melrose, Carol A. McKinley and her husband Kevin of Moultonborough, N.H., Peter Olsen and his husband Ralph Watson of Boston, Sharon E. Mallon and her husband Tom of Stratham, N.H. and the late Richard G. Olsen and his wife Vicki of VA. She was the dear sister of Marie Scales of Cotuit and her late husband Robert. She was the cherished grandmother of Richard G. Olsen II, Elizabeth Parks and her husband Aaron, Mark Galvin and his wife Shane, Bethann Atkinson and her husband James, Brian Galvin, Brendan McKinley, Sean McKinley, Lauren McKinley, Brianna McKinley, Eric Mallon, Jeffrey Mallon and Gregory Mallon. She was the loving great-grandmother of Annie, Joshua, Mary and Jane. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Eileen’s life for visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Sunday, March 8, from 2 to 6 p.m. and for her funeral service at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose on Monday at 10 a.m.
Interment in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody.
Gifts in Eileen’s memory may be made to the Melrose Friends of the Aging, Inc., c/o Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster St., Melrose MA 02176.
For online tribute or to share a memory, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.