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Ellen Mary “Eileen” Williams
6.6.22 to 3.20.17
Eileen was born in her beloved Scotland to Cornelius Coughlin and Elizabeth McAnally, the first of five children. With the outbreak of WWII, her life was forever changed. Then living in Gourock, Scotland, a port town on the Firth of Clyde, she saw hundreds of military ships from all over the world dock and depart. She met many young men far from home, but the one that caught her eye was Chief Petty Officer Bill Williams, whom she married in May 1944. Three days later he returned to his ship and set sail for parts unknown as he continued his service in the Navy. In 1945 she sailed to the U.S. aboard a troop ship carrying 3000 soldiers (and a priest). She was leaving behind her family, heading to a country where she did not know a soul, to wait with Bill’s family for him to come home.
In her 44 years of marriage to Bill, they were stationed from Bayonne, NJ to San Diego, CA; from Pensacola, FL to Seattle, WA, choosing to settle in KC after his retirement. Along the way they had four children: Elizabeth Anne, Maureen (Ned Carlin), Rusty, and Frankie. In 1988 and ’89, she became a grandmother to Thomas and Alley, beginning what she called the best years of her life.
Mom was a happy homemaker and a generous volunteer, from her Gray Lady days on bases to her 28 years at Little Sisters of the Poor. She was active in her church, planning funeral luncheons, being a Stephen minister, and reading at liturgies with wee bit of her lovely brogue coming through.
Her friendships were many, but she held especially dear Harold Baggerly and Joyce Locke. The family would like to thank Lyka, her most recent friend, who helped care for Mom these past few months.
Mom died on March 20 in the way she had always prayed for: at her home, surrounded by her family.
We will celebrate her life on Friday, March 24, at St. Matthew Apostle Church, 8001 Longview Road, KCMO 64134. The family will gather at 10:00 A.M. to greet friends, and the liturgy will begin at 11:00 A.M. The family will take her remains at a later date to Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery to unite her with her beloved Bill.
We ask for no flowers. Donations can be made to St. Matthew’s Church, hospice, or to the charity of your choice. Mom gave regularly to veteran’s groups and pet charities.