With her family close, Eileen Theresa Davies passed away peacefully at her home in Colusa on September 24, 2019 at the age of 87. She will long be remembered as a person of great grace, who touched many hearts and souls.
Eileen was born September 11, 1932 in San Francisco, California, the second of three children to Irish immigrant parents Patrick Burke and Margaret (Chambers) Burke. Eileen was a striking Irish beauty with black hair and blue eyes - but her trademark was her soft demeanor and angelic singing voice. Like many children of Irish immigrants, the Burke family life revolved around their Catholic parish. Eileen, her sister Kathleen, and her brother Redmond attended church and school at St. James Church in San Francisco and later St. Patrick’s in Grass Valley. Their lives were filled with simple joys including Irish music, step dancing, and poetry. Their parents were steadfast that each child obtain a college degree, a mission Eileen would later adopt for her own children.
Eileen’s early childhood was in San Francisco, where at age 4, she walked across the Golden Gate Bridge on its opening day. When in grade school, her family relocated to Grass Valley. As a young girl she read the book The Song of Bernadette, which began her lifetime devotion to the rosary and Saint Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes, France. She later became a faithful parishioner of nearly 60 years at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic parish in Colusa and was blessed to visit Lourdes.
At a high school dance, Eileen met the love of her life, Richard J. Davies of Nevada City. Following college, where she obtained her teaching degree at San Jose State, the two reconnected and married on February 11, 1956. They went on to spend the next 57 years together.
After living in the Bay Area, where Eileen taught school and Richard worked for Standard Oil, they relocated to Sacramento and then to Colusa to raise their family and start a business. Over time, they started Davies Oil, working alongside each other and their three sons to develop the business. Eileen was integral to the business, keeping the books and banking in line, and ducks in a row.
Eileen was devoted to each of her five children and their spouses. She was a loyal attendee at countless school and sporting events, helped with homework, and encouraged discipline and a love of learning. She had 9 grandchildren, whom she adored and would often invite over for a cup of traditional Irish tea.
From an early age, Eileen was an accomplished singer with an angelic voice. To know her soft-spoken nature and to hear the powerful voice, one would never imagine it was the same person. For years, she sang the Ave Maria at weddings and funerals and she attended daily Mass for decades. She was known to bring her children to church mid-week “for a visit” and faithfully made sure they made Sunday Mass, even if it meant leaving a campsite and driving 10 miles into town. She was a proud member of the Catholic Ladies Relief Society and served as both President and Grand President of the Colusa chapter. She was a tireless volunteer – teaching religion to children for over 19 years, helping run rummage and bake sales, cleaning the church weekly up until the time she could no longer walk without a walker, and serving the community in numerous ways.
Although Alzheimer’s stole her memory, Eileen never lost herself. Her love of laughing and keen sense of humor remained. When she could no longer recall her loved ones, she still remembered her prayers. Her goodness, sweetness, and loving smile shone bright until the very end. She, like her family, was eternally grateful for the love shown to her by the caregivers and doctors who provided care for her during her later years.
Eileen is predeceased by her loving husband Richard and her parents Patrick and Margaret Burke. She is survived by children Gerald Davies (Anne); Colleen Ronan (Joe); Robert Davies; Mary Margaret O’Connor; Michael Davies (Bonnie); her grandchildren Brian Davies (Melissa), Katelyn Sutton (Mark), Katie Chamberlin (Billy), Taylor Davies, Patrick Ronan, Garrett O’Connor, Justin Davies, Ben Davies and Claire O’Connor; sister Kathleen Stevens and brother Redmond Burke and numerous nieces and nephews as well as other loving friends and family. Her family is forever grateful for the love and countless blessings she bestowed on them and they will miss her dearly.
A rosary vigil will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 345 Oak Street, in Colusa on Sunday, September 29th at 5:00pm. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, September 30th at 10:00am, also at Our Lady of Lourdes.
In lieu to flowers, donations may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church or the Catholic Ladies Relief Society, both in Colusa.
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