Eileen Anna (Heinen) Rys passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Lakeside Nursing Home in Pine City at the age of 94.
Eileen Anna Heinen was born on Feb. 10, 1924, to William (Bill) and Anna (Malterer) Heinen in Princeton, Minnesota. Two weeks later, her mother died from peritonitis due to childbirth. This loss would shape Eileen’s personality for the remainder of her life.
Her maternal and paternal grandparents, along with a host of aunts and uncles rallied together with her dad to care for the young child. After her dad remarried, Eileen became the oldest of six children. She attended Jarvis Bay School and graduated from Pine City High School in 1942.
Eileen met Frank F. Rys at a dance at The Topic Ballroom in Pine City. They were united in marriage on Nov. 24, 1943, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pine City, while Frank was home on leave from the U.S. Army. They lived in Fort Smith, Arkansas and Seattle, Washington where Frank was stationed. Upon his deployment overseas during WWII, Eileen returned to Pine City and the family farm where she grew up.
She and Frank purchased the family farm in 1945, beginning a 38 year farming career where they raised their five children. The couple instilled in their children the importance of God, hard work and the love of family. Her family meant the world to her.
Eileen was actively involved in the farming activities, yet found time to make delicious meals, kept an immaculate house and was an avid baker, where she was known for her homemade parker house rolls, pies and kolaches. There was always time for coffee and goodies when visiting the farm. Her sauerkraut and dumplings meal was sure to please the family.
A lifelong member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, she was baptized, confirmed, married and actively served in various positions within the Council of Catholic Women until her health no longer allowed. She then enjoyed receiving weekly communion delivered to her home, and at Lakeside.
In 1984, Eileen and Frank sold the family farm, moving to Glencoe, Minnesota for three years. Soon after returning to Pine City, Frank developed health problems. He passed away on Nov. 27, 1998, just three days after celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.
Eileen stayed active, living on her own until 2015 when her mobility caused her to move to Golden Horizons Assisted Living, and later Lakeside Nursing Home. She suffered a stroke over Memorial Day weekend.
Eileen is survived by her children: David and Cheryl Rys of Brooklyn Park, Ellen (Ron) Lauer of Rock Creek, LuAnn (Clint) Becker of Waltham, John Rys of Rock Creek, Tom (Nancy) Rys of Rock Creek; grandchildren Scott Rys, Nathan Rys, Kristofor (Megan) Moulton, Todd Becker, Jennifer (Jonathon) Halbesleben, Natalie (Anthony) Sorensen, Michael Rys, Michelle Rys, Jimmy Rys, Cami (Joey) Babolik; great-grandchildren Dylan and Kelsey Becker, Alex, Liesl and Oliver Halbesleben, Max, Carter and Madeline Sorensen, Macie, Milo and Melia Babolik; sister Eleanor Pawlicki of Glencoe; brother Bob Heinen of Mesa, Arizona.
Eileen is preceded in death by her parents William and Anna Heinen; husband Frank Rys; siblings Darlene (Norm) Gildea, Claire (Marge) Heinen, Betty (Elgin) Kurtz; brother-in-law Don Pawlicki; sister-in-law Juanita Heinen.
Father Chuck Brambilla celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial for Eileen on Monday, July 9, 2018, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Pine City. Interment took place at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Pine City.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City, Swanson Chapel. www.FuneralAndCremationService.com