MISSOULA — The world lost a deeply loving soul, the best mother, and a doting grandmother when Eileen Ann Larkin, 62, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at St. Patrick Hospital.
Eileen was born on April 12, 1956, in Huntington, New York, to Richard Eibell and Alice Larkin. Eileen grew up in Annandale, Virginia, and Houston, Texas. She was a lifelong student, believing deeply in the power of education. Eileen spent time at Texas A&M University, leaving early after being accepted to Texas Chiropractic College. She graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 1982. When bad knees took away her ability to continue treating patients, Eileen continued to run a successful chiropractic business. After moving to Montana in 1990, she turned a hobby — her love for quilting — into another successful business, Timeless Treasures Quilt Shop. Timeless Treasures eventually became Timeless Quilts and Friends.
In 1999, Eileen returned to school to complete her undergraduate degree. She graduated from the University of Montana with a B.A. in Communications in 2001. She went on to attend the University of Montana’s School of Law, completing her J.D. in 2003. At her graduation, her classmates named her Student of the Year. They noted the inspiration she provided other students, raising two teenage daughters on her own while attending law school and continuing to jointly run Timeless Quilts and Friends. An accomplished attorney, Eileen clerked in the Hamilton courts before moving on to become a Montana State Appellate Defender, with most of her time as a lawyer spent practicing before the Montana State Supreme Court.
Throughout her life, Eileen used quilting as a fundraising tool for worthy causes. She, along with several other quilter-moms, created the Nutcracker Quilt to raise money for Garden City Ballet Company. She organized a large group of quilters to ensure that every bed at Camp-Make-A-Dream had a quilt for the children who attended. She donated quilts to the Women’s Law Society Auction at the University of Montana to help raise funds for the YWCA. While working as a judicial staff attorney in Hamilton, Eileen founded the self-help clinic for family law. Eileen was an avid hiker who loved the Montana outdoors, particularly with her rescue dog, Bailey. She always had a home improvement project going and loved to tell her daughters about potential plans for future work.
A loving mother and grandmother, Eileen was known for her ability to turn everyone with whom she associated into friends. She loved to quilt, travel, and spend time with her family. She joined her parents, her brothers, Richard and Mark Eibell, and her sister, Mary Rueth in heaven. Her positive spirit is carried by her two daughters, Katherine (Katie) Larkin-Wong and Kimberly (Kimmie) Hayes, her son-in-law, Jonathon (Jono) Wong, her “Best Medicine” granddaughter, Kieran Ilaria Larkin Wong, her siblings and their families: William Eibell, Suzanne Larkin, Thomas Eibell, and Kathleen Larkin, as well as her former husband, Patrick Hayes.
A celebration of Eileen’s life will begin with a Mass at St. Francis Xavier at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, followed by a reception filled with love, laughter, and oldies at Bella Vista Pavilion at Fort Missoula at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Eileen’s family is establishing a scholarship for single mothers at the University of Montana Law School. Gifts can be made online at supportum.org/give, by calling Erin Lunde Keenan at 406-243-4319, or by mailing a check to the UM Foundation, PO Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807 and designating the gift as In Memory of Eileen Larkin.