Eileen Steedman Gilchrist Deckard (nee Nivens), 85, of Raleigh, formerly of Akron and Athens, Ohio, Greenwich, Connecticut, Elyria and Fort Myers Beach, Florida, passed away in Raleigh, North Carolina Saturday, November 17, 2012, following a long illness. Eileen was born in Akron, to Clarence and Della Nivens on January 2, 1927.
She attended North High School in Akron and studied English at The University of Akron until her marriage to James Steedman in 1949. They relocated several times to Athens, Ohio, Greenwich, Connecticut and Elyria. A longtime member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority (Athens, Greenwich and Elyria), Eileen enjoyed a good game of bridge, bowling, bargain hunting, testing gourmet recipes and hosting legendary pool parties. She was especially happy when her far flung family came together for any holiday.
Eileen is survived by her loving husband, Wayne Deckard, of Raleigh, North Carolina; children, Christine Steedman Rawson (Jeff) of Elyria; Roger Steedman (Lori) of Upper Arlington, Ohio; John Steedman (Krista) of Leesburg, Virginia, and Jaime Steedman-Lyde (Ted) of Los Angeles, California; Thomas Gilchrist (Natalie) of Belmont, Massachusetts, James Gilchrist (Kathy) of Cabin John, Maryland; Robert Gilchrist of Bryans Road, Maryland; and John Gilchrist of Alexandria, Virginia, Larry Deckard (Rebecca) of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Lynn Carey (James) of Indianapolis, Indiana; grandchildren, Andrew, Megan and Harrison Steedman, Quinn and Skye Rawson, Grace and Jackson Lyde.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence M. and Della A. (nee Meagher) Nivens; her brother, James M. Nivens; her first husband, James Steedman (1977); and her second husband, Laurence F. Gilchrist (1994).
Friends will be received at the Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland Street, Elyria, Friday, November 23, 2012, from 4 to 6 P.M. Closing prayers will be in the funeral home Saturday, November 24, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. followed by Mass at St. Jude Catholic Church, 590 Poplar Street, Elyria, at 10 A.M. The Reverend Father John Vrana, Associate Pastor St. Jude Church, will be the Celebrant. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery, Elyria.
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