Obituary of Eucharia R Pilsbury
Friends and family are welcome to attend the visitations on Wednesday, July 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, July 26 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park Street Montclair NJ. A mass of Christian burial will be offered on Friday, July 27 at 10 a.m. in Saint Cassian Church, 187 Bellevue Avenue Upper Montclair. Interment Immaculate Conception Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Cary’s name to St. Cassian School Foundation, Inc 190 Lorraine Avenue Upper Montclair 07043.
Eulogy for Eucharia Rose Pilsbury
The setting was the Seton Hall University Campus when Cary Riordan, while walking from the bus stop, asked an unknownyoung man named Vince Pilsbury for directions to a particular study hall. Vince, an upper-classman, was instantly smitten and shrewdly offered to escort Cary directly to the destination. After parting, Vince hatched a plan - he would find an inconspicuous place near the bus stop and patiently wait for Cary’s return. His plan worked to perfection and when Cary boarded the busheading back to Bloomfield, he too jumped on and took advantage of having a captive audience to work his charm with the young lady who would eventually become his wife and mother to their 11 children.
Yes, that was certainly the start of something big, very BIG! At one point the Pilsbury’s had 2 parents, 9 children and 2grandmothers living under the same roof, and, as you can imagine there was a lot of banging on bathroom doors. There were countless times each day when a child would yell for mom because they were being tormented by a sibling. There weremesses to be cleaned, and diaper duty that never ended. There were jeers and tears, skinned knees, bruises and occasional broken bones. There were coughs and colds, flu’s and chickenpox, mumps and measles. There were tantrums and meltdowns and a wave of 11 kids sequentially going through their “terrible two’s” that lasted for nearly two decades. There were countless meals to be prepared and an endless flow of laundry and chores. And for Mom, there were NO days off – she was on duty 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Yet quite amazingly the household NEVER felt out of control. While the average person would have had a nervous breakdown, we never, EVER saw mom crack – We never, EVER heard a hint of “woe is me”. Mom was a different breed, as tough as nails, and she had an incredibly balanced demeanor, keeping cool, controlling emotions and somehow managing 11 wildings even under the most trying circumstances. What we DO remember the most are Mom’s joyful smiles, her wonderful sense of humor, and her aura of love. Mom and Dad brought us into this world and provided a stable, loving and caring home environment.
Mom created a little whimsical song for each of her 11 children - they were happy, silly and personalized, and she would sing us our song when we had alone time together. Mom raised us to be good kids. She taught us to respect our elders, to be polite and courteous, say our prayers, and, to chew with our mouths closed. We fondly recall mom reading us passages from Uncle Wiggly at bedtime and we enjoyed watching TV together, perhaps a Flintstones or Batman episode or a classic movie like the Wizard of Oz or March of the Wooden Soldiers. However, in the TV room it was first come first served for the couch seatsand the rest of us sat on the floor. During the day we were often told to go outside and play in the fresh air, but when that dinner bell rang (yes, mom rang a dinner bell from the back porch that could be heard throughout the neighborhood) and when that bell rang, we knew we needed to head home for eats or it might be scraps for dinner. Mom was tough, and we were disciplined when we deserved it (and sometimes even when we didn’t think we deserved it J). However, there was an expectation in thePilsbury home that we would all be well-behaved and do well in school and Mom set the tone.
Mom also showed the family the importance of spirituality --praying to God the Father and Jesus was at the heart of her value system. Mom stood at the door by the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus each morning as we were heading out to St Cassian School, and together we said a prayer. We said grace before every dinner, and, for larger gatherings grace would always end with Mom spreading her arms wide toward heavenblasting: “Praise you Jesus – Alleluia!” Cary’s commitment to the church and decades of involvement in church activities was so very impressive. Mom and Dad were in perfect harmony on their religious and spiritual paths. They prayed together on their knees at the foot of their bed and got up early to attend morning mass every day. They truly walked the talk, and, by example, Mom and Dad demonstrated to the children what daily communion with God is really all about.
While still caring for the maturing family, Cary started a daycare service in the 70’s which ultimately became a thriving and profitable nursery school. A true school that touched and enriched the lives of the thousands of young children whoattended, and their parents alike. This endeavor required vision, commitment and determination to get through the NJ state certification process, hiring employees, marketing the business to enroll children, and, going door-to-door asking the neighbors to approve her operation of a business in a residential area. In addition, she grew the business by offering aftercare hours and summer programs. It would have been so much easier to havejust maintained the original small daycare business, but Cary had the vision, commitment and fortitude to build a business that served the community and grew to have a sterling reputation in Montclair. It was Cary’s warmth and grace that made the school environment extra-special. The school carries on today and the family is so incredibly proud of Mom’s professionalaccomplishments.
Mom and Dad had a wonderful loving and committed relationship. And thinking back it is hard to recall any cross words between them. As we know relationships are not always peaches and cream but Mom wanted to maintain a strong, united family and our parents accomplished that in grand fashion.
Through the decades the Pilsbury home at 433 Park Street has been the cornerstone for the family to gather for holidays, birthdays, grandchildren baptisms and other special occasions. The door was always open to the family, and without hesitation,Mom and Dad welcomed anyone of us who needed help or a place to live. We know this was important to Mom and we were all grateful for the openness, kindness, and generosity.
Dad’s untimely death in 1991 was a shock to the family for sure but there is strength in numbers and we all persevered together. Mom was embraced with support from many friends as well as her church group, and eventually after so many years of raisingthe family and running the business Mom was able to take time to travel the world. My goodness she deserved it!
Cary was also lucky to find a loving companion in ChickKoebel, a fellow parishioner who coincidentally, and, quite remarkably, had 10 children of his own! Mom and Chick married in November of 2006 and have been blessed to enjoytheir golden years together. Chick and Cary provided each otherwith great love, friendship, laughter, and happiness, and they have brought love and camaraderie to both the Koebel and Pilsbury extended families.
We wanted to share just a few interesting facts about Cary:
- Her name Eucharia, was given after the Holy Eucharist – as a young girl she enjoyed evangelizing by explaining this to her mostly Protestant neighbors.
- Cary graduated from Immaculate Conception High School as did 6 of her children. She was known for her sense of humor, dancing, and unbounded spirit.
- Mom had Lucille Ball-like red hair during most of her children’s youth – the kids could find mom in the in any crowded venue by looking for that hair!
- When things were not going well for the kids – she often told us to “Offer it up to Jesus!” Or, “Praise God anyway!”
- We never, ever heard mom cuss – When mom was exasperated what we heard was this plea: “Jesus, Mary, and Sweet St. Joseph help me through this vale of tears”.
- She loved her cats and dogs – at one time we had 5 cats, but in truth she favored her dogs, especially her best friend Maggie.
- She often sang silly songs from her generation and lovedlistening Jerry Vale, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond and her favorite Irish songs especially Danny Boy. And it wasn’t officially Christmas until we heard Nat King Cole holidaysongs playing through the home.
- Mom does not have a trace of Italian heritage, but she made world-class meatballs.
- Cary was the proud and loving matriarch of a family which includes 11 children, 26 grandchildren and 12 Great grandchildren.
The loss of a loved one is a tough time for sure, but one wonderful aspect that unfolds is the reconnection with our friends, relatives and siblings. And the heartwarming memories and stories we shared reveal just how much our Mom meant to everyone.
We know if anyone was prepared to leave this world and meet their maker, it was Cary. She lived her entire life with the end goal of entrance into heaven as the guiding principle. Without a shadow of doubt we know Mom’s heavenly goal has been joyously realized and the woman who selflessly cared for so many during her earthly life, is now being cared for in paradise in the cradle of God’s hands.
There are words from the song Red River Valley that feel so apropos:
From this valley they say you are leaving
We shall miss your bright eyes and sweet smile
But we thank you for all of the sunshine
That has brightened our pathway a while
Thank you again to everyone for sharing in the celebration of Cary’s life.
And Mom, thank you for being an amazing woman and awonderful Mother – your legacy will forever echo in the Halls of Heaven - We love you dearly!
God Bless Eucharia Rose Pilsbury-Koebel – Praise you Jesus - Alleluia!
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