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Eileen B. (Irving)'s Story

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Mrs. Eileen B. (Irving) Desmarais, 98 of Peabody beloved wife of the late Wilfred S. Desmarais, passed away on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Grosvenor Park Nursing Center in Salem, surrounded by her loving family.
Born in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Hugh and Margaret (McDonald) Irving. She was raised and educated in Salem, attended Salem High School and later graduated from Danvers High School after returning to school in her 40s.
Eileen continued her education earning her degree in Occupational Therapy from North Shore Community College. As a young woman, Eileen had to leave school to work in the family box company. She was very proud of her ability to return to school and earn her diploma and degree.
Mrs. Desmarais had been employed for several years at Friend Box Company, CBS Hytron and Harbour Sweets in Salem. Shortly after moving to Topsfield, Eileen founded the Eileen Desmarais Dance Studio enrolling enough students in the first nine months to put on her first recital. After obtaining her degree, Eileen had been employed for many years as an Occupational Therapist for the City of Medford. Her patience and kindness was truly reflected in the work she provided to those she cared for.

A woman devoted to her faith, Eileen was an active member of The First Church of Danvers Congregational and Topsfield Congregational Church where she taught Sunday school for many years. Eileen was very active in town, civic and social circles; she was a longtime Girl Scout and Brownie Leader, manager of the Hallmarks building at the Topsfield Fair, a long-standing member of the 4H Club where she was a well-respected leader and fondly known as “Doc”. Eileen was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who lived a long life and will be deeply missed by her loving family and many friends.

Eileen is survived by her daughters, Carolyn S. DesMarais of Peabody, Nancy Swindell-Lucas and her husband Peter of Beverly, and Sheila Whicher and her husband, Clifford of Rowley, her grandchildren, Carol A. Lavigueur of Hudson, N.H., Kathy Hess and her spouse, Kim Ferguson of Middleton, Deborah Trefrey and her husband, Alan of Ipswich, Diane Chigas and her husband, Thomas of Amesbury, Brooke Whicher of Newburyport, John Lucas and his wife Amy of West Newbury and Frances Lucas and her companion Marcus Bachmann of Beverly, 5 great-grandchildren, Matthew, Amanda, Devin, Jacob and Patricia. She was also the sister of the late Bruce, Dudley, Hugh and James Irving and Harriet Melanson-Konzcal.
Her funeral service will be held in the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (rte. 62), Danvers, on Wednesday, October 11th at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Topsfield. Visiting hours Tuesday, October 10th from 4 to 7 p.m. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on  October 9, 2017
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