EILEEN JOYCE ILES
SEPT 17, 1925 – MAR 30, 2008
Died suddenly at home on Sunday, March 30, 2008, in Nanaimo, pre-deceased by husband Frank in 1999, son John in 2001 and brother Don (England) 2005. She leaves to mourn; daughter Kathleen, son-in-law Gordon Lyons, grandsons; Jason, Ben and Tyler, great grandsons; Adam and Nicholas, son David and daughter-in-law Sandra, grandson Christopher, grand-daughters; Rebecca, Erika, and brother Dennis and families in England, also god-daughter Ruth-Helen Philpott, (England).
Eileen was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1925, the family then moved to Vancouver in 1928. Starting at the age of 7, she soon became an accomplished pianist. At the age of 9, in Vancouver, she played Paderewski’s “Minuet in G” on CKMO Radio. She attended Sir James Douglas School and in 1939 the family moved to England. She joined the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) in 1943, later volunteering for overseas, serving in Southeast Asia command. She worked in Top Secret Signals and later in the Secretariat of Lord Louis Mountbatten in Ceylon, India and Singapore. She was always proud that she had been chosen as one of the 21 member First Echelon out of 500 interviewed in London, England.
In 1946 Eileen returned to England, married, and had three children and in 1965 returned to “her beloved Canada”. In 1974 Eileen arrived on Vancouver Island to visit daughter Kathleen and her babies, and stayed for 1 year working for the Parksville Progress (predecessor to the Star) before returning to Ontario. In 1979 she moved to Gabriola Island and later to Parksville to fill a busy schedule as a Music Director at St. Andrews United Church, Nanaimo, 7 years at St. Columba Presbyterian Church, many music pupils, and numerous other music events. Over the course of the next 20 years, Eileen performed with various groups and bands, at nursing homes, churches, concert halls and music venues all around Vancouver Island.
While battling Pancreatic cancer and Diabetes, Eileen’s final engagements in December 2006 were 5 performances of the “Music of Bethlehem” between Dec. 1st and 15th and 10 performances of Echo Theatre’s “Sleeping Beauty” as Pianist between Dec 20th and Dec 31st. In 2007 she still performed at various events : Oct 5 – Memorial Service; Nov 25 – A Vigil to Celebrate A Life; Dec 20 – Fireside Xmas; Jan 3, 2008 – Jason and Friends; until she finally succumbed to her illness.
Eileen will always be remembered as a loving, caring person whose musical talent was an inspiration to everyone around her. She will be deeply missed and never forgotten by all who knew and loved her.
We love you, Mom.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Eileen’s name may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or Canadian Diabetes Association
A memorial service will be held at Yates Funeral Services, Parksville on Saturday, April 12th at 1:00pm.