Wednesday, April 6, 1938
Date of Death:
Thursday, April 22, 2021
83 years old
Eileen Frances Harreld (née Thornton), 83, of Rochester, MN, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on Thursday, April 22, 2021.
Eileen was born April 6, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York to James and Marie (Diffley) Thornton, a large Irish Catholic New York family. The Thornton’s moved to Rochester in 1956 when Eileen was just a young woman of 18. On October 12, 1957, she married Don W. (Bill) Harreld at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester. She met Bill on a blind date set up by Bill’s sister. From there Bill and Eileen raised their large family in Rochester, South Salem, New York, Paris, France, moving back to Rochester permanently in 1975.
Eileen was active in organizations that focused on serving others. She spent many years volunteering in the Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, including serving as its President. She was a long-time supporter and volunteer at the Gift of Life Transplant House. At various points during her life, she worked as a bookkeeper at Ina Mae’s Dress Shop in Rochester, was as an antique dealer in Stillwater, Minnesota, and office manager at Quilter’s Courtyard in St. Paul.
Eileen is survived by her children, Donald J. Harreld, of Richmond, MN, Elizabeth Cousins of Rancho Cordova, California, Thomas V. Harreld, or Livingston Montana, Mary Harreld of Stillwater, Jack Harreld of Stillwater, Harriet Kumar of Cincinnati, Ohio and Marie Segar of Eagan; 20 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her daughter, Melissa Wilkin, and her husband, Bill Harreld.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 29, 2021 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Rochester, with Father James Berning officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the Mass at St. Francis. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester.
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The family of Eileen Harreld has received the following condolences.
Dear Harreld Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. I just tried to connect with Eileen a month ago via her Facebook page, not knowing if she still checked it. We worked together for four years at Gift of Life. It's been 15+ years since then, but she's one of those people who make an impression on you that never fades. I loved working with her! We shared sarcastic humor, straight talk, a practical life perspective, and a deep desire to help people in need. I wish I'd worked harder to reconnect last month, and I wish I'd seen her notice earlier than today. I will hold her and all of you in my prayers. -- MGM
I had the privilege of grooming your Moms hair the past 9-10 months until I retired mid March. We had many, many good laughs during that time as we got each others sarcastic side. She was never at a loss for words and we both loved to "dish it out" to one another. We both knew the end was getting closer and we had some very candid talks about it and then of course some humor. I am saddened I didn't call her sooner in the month as we were planning to go to lunch. I am so sorry I was not able to come to the funeral today. I will greatly miss her banter and that laugh!!- May you all find peace and comfort in your memories of her. Hugs, Kristie Anderson
God’s blessings to all the Don Harreld family as we mourn the loss of our dear Eileen. We share your sorrow even though we know she is now with our Lord in her heavenly home. May God give strength to all of you as you walk down this difficult path.
Dorothy Harreld Aanestad & family
Marie, so sorry for your loss. My deepest symathy to you and your family.
Harriet - so sorry to hear about your Mom. I always got a kick out of her! Didn’t remember your mom & Bev shared a birthday. My thoughts to you all. Kim
We are so sorry for the loss of your amazing mother. Please know we are lifting you up in prayer as you celebrate her life and recount the many great memories.
Scott and Susan & family