CASTINE - Eileen Betty Morrison (nee Park), 82, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, died unexpectedly at 8:15am on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 of acute respiratory failure at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine.
She was born in London, England on October 23, 1933, daughter of Charles and Annie Park. She was educated in England at The Roan School for Girls where she developed a love of language which remained throughout her life, becoming fluent in French and German. A talented classical pianist, Eileen received a distinguished certificate from the Royal College of Music. She lived in London throughout World War II, surviving the Blitz, her family having been bombed out of their home three times.
Having worked at the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) in London, she bravely decided to emigrate to Toronto on her own with just one suitcase and a one way ticket. A few years afterward, a mutual friend put her in touch with her future husband, Michael. On July 15, 1963, she and Michael were married, and lived in NYC until 1970. They moved to Summit, New Jersey, where they lived for almost 30 years, where she was very involved in the community, and where they raised their three children?Penelope, Heather and Andrew.
In 1994, Michael's work took them to Shanghai, China where they lived for three years during which time she became heavily involved with the city's orphanage. She developed a particularly close relationship with one of the orphans, whom she took home for a week or so at a time - unheard of in those days. She and Michael have remained in touch with the little girl, as well as two other disadvantaged children they supported from childhood through university. While living in Shanghai, Eileen began studying Mandarin, which she continued to study for the remainder of her life. Fascinated with the history, culture, and people of China, she returned on her own more than once to continue studying Mandarin, even attending the University of Shanghai in her seventies.
In 1997 they moved to Castine, Maine, where they had some ten years earlier bought "Widow Stover's" 1796 house. In 2001 Michael's work took them abroad again, this time to Bermuda where they lived for 3 years, and where they have returned to visit every year since. Eileen once again made a home out of a house, a wonderful skill she has demonstrated all her life. In Bermuda she became an enthusiastic volunteer with Meals on Wheels. At the end of 2004, they returned to Castine where they have enjoyed a wonderful life with their friends and created a loving home for their family. Eileen's love for family and ability to create a nurturing home remains a gift to Michael, their children, and their grandchildren.
Eileen is survived by Michael, her loving husband of 52 years, daughter Penelope Anne Boettiger and her husband Keith, of Austin, Texas; daughter Heather Elizabeth Pentland and her husband Bill, of Kennebunkport, Maine; and son Andrew Charles Carter Morrison and his wife Gabriella, of Ashland, Oregon. She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Lindsay, Anna, and Owen Boettiger; Ian and Charlie Pentland; and Paiute and Terra Morrison. She was pre-deceased by her brothers Philip, Stanley, and Jack. She will be deeply missed.
Burial will be private and a memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Castine, Maine at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research .
Arrangements in care of Jordan-Fernald, 49 Main Street, Blue Hill.