Musically gifted, independent, strong willed, social and outgoing are just a few words to describe Eileen E. (Stephens) Cira. She was the type of lady who was always willing to help others.
With much of the country talking about events like the Hindenburg exploding that signaled the end of the flying ship as a major form of transport, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart for her round the world flight and the grand opening of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, no other news was more exciting to the young couple of Arnold and Elizabeth (Brown) Stephens than the announcement of birth of their only child, Eileen. Not uncommon for the time, Arnold's family came to the United States from England as her mother's family came over from Scotland. As fate would have it, they met, went on to be married and welcome this little girl into their home and hearts. Eileen was born May 8, 1937 in Detroit, Michigan.
Her dad who was a chemist would accept a job in southern Michigan for a paint company and move them to New Carlisle. At a young age, Eileen enjoyed singing and participated in choir and learned to play the piano. She graduated from New Carlisle High School with the Class of 1955 and attended Ball State University in Muncie for two years. Through friends of hers, she met one of their cousins and the two fell in love and knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. On December 14, 1956 she married J. Richard "Dick" Cira at Olive Grove United Methodist Church in New Carlisle. She moved to Indianapolis as he worked for RCA, came back to New Carlisle and then moved to Mooresville, where Dick would take a teaching position. In 1961, Dick was given the opportunity to teach and coach football in Columbia City, so they moved one final time.
As they moved around and Dick's career advanced, they would welcome two daughters, Tamera and Jodie and son, Michael. Besides being a wife and mother, Eileen had been a substitute teacher and taught music before becoming secretary at the Washington Center Elementary School in Whitley County, retiring in 2007. She knew the value of education and continued her own education as she spent two more years attending St. Francis College in Fort Wayne.
With having educational jobs, the family enjoyed spending their summer months together. They often would go camping, traveling to visit her Aunt Ruby in Michigan, taking trips up to Canada and spending time at the family cottage at Sand Lake in Michigan. She and Dick enjoyed spending time with their friends and playing cards, but nothing was more special to her than spending time with her seven grandchildren and she adored her four great-grandchildren. She was so proud of all of her grandchildren.
Eileen was an active member of Columbia City United Methodist Church. She sang in the adult choir and spent close to 50 years leading the children's choir. She also was a member of Columbia City Beta Associates of Tri-Kappa Sorority, and the Indiana Educational Secretary's Association.
On Saturday afternoon, of August 17, 2013, Eileen's world changed when her husband of 55 years passed away. She would continue to live on her own. While rehabbing from a fall in mid-February, Eileen became ill and on passed away at 3:46 a.m. Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Parkview Regional Medical Center.
Survivors include her children, Tamera (Mark) Parker and Jodie (Craig) Asplund, both of Columbia City and Michael (Laura) Cira, Granger; seven grandchildren, Aaron (Meghan) Parker, Adam (Kim) Parker, Andrew Parker, Alex Parker, Dayne Asplund, Jacob and Jordan Cira; and four great-grandchildren, Allison, Madison, Hayden and Elliot Parker. Eileen was anxiously awaiting her fifth great-grandchild and third great-granddaughter, who is due on her birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dick Cira; and special aunt, Roberta "Ruby" Brown.
Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2018 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Friday at the funeral home with Pastor Fred Stayton officiating. Burial will follow at South Park (Annex) Cemetery. Memorial gifts may be given in her memory to Columbia City United Methodist Church. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences online.
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