Eileen Hildebrand Nielsen Andrews passed away April 21, 2022 in Naples, FL at the age of 80 years old.
Eileen was born June 17, 1941 in Canandaigua, NY. During WWII she lived with her mother’s extended Burns family while her father, Jim Hildebrand, served in the US Army in Europe. This was a seminal experience for Eileen, increasing the great bond among the Burns family members that endures through to this day.
Eileen attended Nottingham High School and then went on to Mary Washington College in Virginia. During college, she met her first husband, Christian T Nielsen, through a blind date set up by their mothers, Eleanor and Winnie. After graduating college, she was a grade school teacher in Auburn, NY and in July 1964 she and Chris were married at the Burns family property beside the Lake in Skaneateles, NY. She and Chris moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1965 where they started their family that grew to her three children: Jim, Jeff, and Megan.
Moving in 1977 to Olympia Fields, IL, she imparted the kind of practical outlook on life that she was known for when telling her Louisiana born children to not wear their new Sears Roebuck down jackets before it got below 40°F – “if you put them on when it’s 50, what will you wear when it’s 10?”. Her Syracuse upbringing was brought to bear many times during those cold years, for instance when Chris needed to be picked up at the train station at 2 AM during a blizzard - she woke and shoveled the driveway enough to be able to drive the family station wagon to the station. She and Chris made many friends in the Chicago area that remain to this day.
The family moved in 1981 to Bernardsville, NJ where they made their long-term home and put down deep roots and making numerous friends. Living in New Jersey made the trips to Skaneateles easier and more frequent. She and Chris finished raising their children with each child going off to college and making their way in the world and raising their own families; for this Eileen was very proud.
She lost Chris to a brain tumor in 1998. Her perseverance and steadiness of purpose for Chris and her family was again rooted in her practical view of life and strong bonds developed over the years. It was this dogged support for family and friends that marked her years.
In 2007, she married Raynal Andrews with whom she spent the last 15 years of her life enjoying travel, summers in New Jersey, and winters with their growing and vital group of friends in Naples, Florida, many of whom she had previously met while living in Chicago or New Jersey.
Eileen leaves behind her husband Raynal Andrews, her son Jim and his wife Jennifer and their two children Matthew and Erin; Jeff and his three boys Sam, Cooper, and Graham; Megan Courtney and her husband Tom and their two daughters Lily and Margaux; her sister Patricia Hale and husband Clayton; and of course, her many friends.
Many thanks to the community at the Wilderness and her friends for their support during her illness.
Services in Naples will be held at St. Ann Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 3. Internment and associated services will be held at a later date in Skaneateles, NY. Donations in Eileen’s memory can be made to Avow Hospice in Naples or the Wilderness’s Orchid Garden Fund.