Eileen Yvonne Bastian Olson – April 11, 1924 – April 25, 2016
Passed into Heaven while peacefully listening to favorite hymns at the New Berlin, Wisconsin home of her beloved Jim, Ashley & Hannah Jeske where she spent the last several months receiving special love and care from them. The entire family is grateful for this selfless act.
We would also like to thank dear Calah Virtue who spent extended time with her recently, Pastor Sander of Blessed Savior Lutheran Church, and everyone who called/wrote/visited/prayed to help her through this difficult time.
Eileen is survived by her offspring (listed later) and her dear cousin Elaine (late Kenneth) Guetz, brother-in-law Oz Olson, Godchildren Timothy Wachter, Michael Jeske, and Dana Ricks. The list of nieces, nephews and friends is too long to publish, but please know that she loved and appreciated all of you.
She is preceded in death by her parents Erich & Mildred Bastian, husband Marvin Olson, son Thomas Marvin Olson, son-in-law Edward Ingle, Godparents Aunt Elsie Hantke and Uncle Herb Bastian, her loving Aunt Viola (& beloved favorite uncle Orlyn) Sporleder, along with her siblings Jean (& Syl) Greuel, Lois (& Vern) Wachter, and Elroy (& Audrey) Bastian and numerous others.
One look around her home and it was evident that Eileen had two huge passions, her love of God and her family.
As a devoted Lutheran, she went to a parochial school, married in church, had all of her children baptized, and taught Vacation Bible School and Sunday School for 50+ years. She also started a quilting group at Blessed Savior in New Berlin (her most recent church) when she joined in the mid-1980s. She prided herself in the group’s ability to sew 300+ quilts each year, which were sent with love to those in need. She led that group until a few years ago when she was physically unable to do so.
One tribute to her family is the sweet pillows she had on her couch. She started with one, embroidered with her spouse and children’s names. Then came the grandchildren pillow, then the one for great grandchildren, and then the one for the great great grandchildren. Every visitor was shown those pillows and her photographs (displayed proudly on the six-shelf cabinet Mike made her, one shelf to represent each child). Another highlight is her book – the story of her life. She kept a journal, which Darleen typed it in Eileen’s words. Her book is a glimpse into her childhood events, first date, travels as an Army family, and other wonderful memories. She always wanted to give Darleen credit for creating the book, but it truly was her work of art and something her offspring cherish.
She was also very proud of being a military wife for 23 years. They were stationed in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Maryland, Washington, Germany and many other locations. Each time the family moved, she made it an adventure, and was quick to set up home and have everybody in their bedrooms with their favorite toys by the end of the first night.
Her selfless generosity spanned the decades. Even when money was tight, soldiers were invited to come for Sunday dinner, and she opened her home to any relatives wanting a place to stay, even for extended periods of time. Her children weren’t “money” spoiled, but were certainly spoiled. She cleaned the entire house every day, and bedrooms were spotless because of her efforts. She enjoyed making the holidays special with homemade candies, cookies, and other treats. And, there was her amazing bakery – bread pudding, butter horns, sweet rolls, biscotti and the infamous éclairs that were fought over at every special occasion.
There were also her foster babies – 20 of them that they nurtured until adoption time. She was especially proud to see that one of them was adopted into her church and so happy when she was his Sunday School teacher.
Most relatives will remember playing dominoes with her – either “chicken feet” or “train”. She was pretty competitive with some of them. And, don’t stop playing and chat for too long – she was definitely focused on the task at hand.
She also loved puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles. And crafts – drawing pictures (especially Peter Rabbit), knitting blankets, scarves and mittens, and sewing clothes for her daughters.
For her 80th birthday, those that love her filled an entire room in the church where her surprise party was held. The theme was quilting, and most guests gifted her with quilt squares they had embellished in honor of her special day. That event, and the quilt she created from those gifts, were just one taste of the patchwork that is her life – the many facets that were all so loving and caring and selfless.
Eileen and Marvin were married in November 1942. The following list of their offspring is another indication of the lasting impression their union made:
Marleen (Pastor Ray) Virtue
– Paul (Shari) Virtue
—-Paul Virtue Jr.
– Ruth (Rev Ferdinand) Fueller
—-Julianna (Rev Nathan) Christianson
——–Kalie & Anja Eileen Christianson
– Joel (Shelli) Virtue
– Dr. Mark (Paige) Virtue
Kathleen (the late Edward) Ingle
—-Joshua (Andrea) Meyer
—-Jessica (Aron) Jones
Michael (Lorna) Olson
The late Thomas Marvin (Kathleen) Olson
—-Valerie Kaye (Rev Joseph) Johnson
——–Samuel, Wyatt, Corin, and Emet Johnson
Darleen (Robert) Jeske
– Michael Jeske
—- Alyssa Mekka, Jordan and Tyler Jeske
– James (Ashley) Jeske
—- Hannah Jeske
Karleen (Michael) Wilichowski
– Erick (Stephanie) Wilichowski
– Ryan Wilichowski
—- Landon Wilichowski
Her children are all very proud and blessed to have her as our mom and would like anyone reading this to feel peace knowing she is comfortable now in the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
A memorial service / celebration of her life will be held late July. More information will follow.