Eileen left us peacefully, surrounded by family on January 20, 2017. She was born in Radway, Alberta, on February 11, 1926, to Bert and Ida Drader. In 1934, the Drader family moved to Victoria, where ten years later, at the age of 18, Eileen enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. In April of 1945, Eileen married Mike Odowichuk. The first of their eight children was born in April of 1946.
After moves to Victoria, Campbell River and Needles, BC, Mike and Eileen returned to Campbell River in 1952, where five more children were born and where Mike and Eileen eventually retired.
Tailor, quilter, upholsterer, incredible cook, homemaker, toymaker, joke teller, historian, and bold traveler – Eileen’s talents, creativity, skill and courage seemed endless. Her warmth, humor, intelligence and generosity touched generations of relatives, friends and even casual acquaintances.
Eileen lived for her family, whom she loved unreservedly and unconditionally. Creative, spontaneous, outspoken and willing to defy convention, Eileen remained true to herself and empowered others to do the same. In adversity, she found the strength to carry on when many would have faltered. She lived life to the fullest and has left behind a wealth of stories, hand-made treasures, life lessons and anecdotes.
Mom, Grandma, sister, aunt, friend, we are forever grateful for the time spent with you, and for the example you set for us all.
Eileen was predeceased her parents Bert and Ida; her husband Mike; sister Nellie and brother Bill; three of her sons, Stephen, Patrick and David; her Grandson Drew and Great Granddaughter Corrina. She is survived by five children: Ron Odowichuk (Judy), Julie Jackson (Gerry), Michael Odowichuk, Jenny Sawatzky (Howard), and Connie Davidson (Barrie). She is also survived by 7 grandchildren: Stefan (Amy), Margo (Evan), Corey (Becca), Gabrielle (Grant), Madeleine (Jay), Bryan (Leanne) and Dylan (Leora), 7 great-grandchildren: Brett, Gavin, Ashley, Shayla, Kieran, Hannah and Wesley; sisters Julie and Flo (Trev), sisters-in-law Rosemarie and Mary, and her dear friends Rosemary and Betty.
Eileen’s family offer heartfelt thanks to Dr. Angela Logan, and to the staff at both Ironwood Place and Evergreen Seniors Home, for their incredible patience, care and compassion.
A celebration of Eileen’s life will be held in Campbell River, Friday, May 19th, 2017. For those wishing to join us to share memories, please contact any of the “kids” for details. Having lived in Campbell River for over six decades, Mom is certain to have established friendships that we are not even aware of. We would love to hear your stories!
In honour of Eileen, please offer a random act of kindness or attempt something that, on another day, you would think impossible.
A more complete story of Eileen’s life will be posted at dignitymemorial.com.