Eileen Schrempp, loving mother, and best friend of Karen Schrempp, passed away Sept. 12, 2021, at her home in Clinton, with her daughter by her side.
Born June 5, 1930, at Norwegian Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, Eileen was the daughter of the late Jean DePaulo MacGregor and the late Donald MacGregor. She grew up in Middletown, Cromwell, and Portland, graduating from Bulkeley High School in Hartford. In 1949, she was married to William E. Schrempp of Clinton, until his sudden and unexpected passing in 1970.
As a wife and mother, Eileen’s open heartedness, acceptance, and optimism made friends and family always feel welcome in her home that was filled with music. Her house served as the “neighborhood hangout” for Karen’s childhood playmates. Eileen always valued the time she could spend with friends, most notably her late sister-in-law, Clara Schrempp Spencer, her long-time friend Patty Cummings and The Unilever Pizza Pals, and her neighbors, Fred and Marian Richman.
Always interested in the world around her, Eileen was a lifelong learner, using museums, documentaries, and books to educate herself on her numerous interests including gardening, cooking, and theater. Her natural curiosity and talents led her to pursue working outside of the home at a time when this was not an expectation for women, both bringing value to Unilever and being one of the original cohort of women that helped to create today’s more inclusive work environment.
Eileen commenced her lengthy and rewarding career at Chesebrough-Ponds (now Unilever) in Clinton, where from her earliest days was recognized for her commitment and dedication. She held an entry level job in returned goods and, through her own determination, she progressed steadily through a series of more challenging positions to become a production planning manager, making numerous friends among her colleagues, many of whom remained as friends following her retirement in 1992.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a college graduate, Eileen formalized her education while at Unilever, enrolling at the University of New Haven in 1974 at age 44. She successfully received a bachelor’s degree in business at age 54 in 1984, while working full-time the entire time.
Following her retirement, she continued her education when she received her certification as a Master Gardener from the University of Connecticut and could be found over many summers carefully tending the assemblage of plants and bushes that dotted her property and at the Old Brick on the grounds of The Clinton Historical Society, of which she was justifiably proud. She also took classes in tailoring, creating an entire wardrobe for Karen and herself.
She was able to fulfill her love of traveling, visiting any number of far-flung locations, including Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Alaska, California, and New Orleans with her frequent traveling companion and close friend Lois Tsolis. During good weather she could be found golfing with her longtime close friend, the late Georgia Wolfe, on courses in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, with a special appreciation for the Fenwick Golf Club.
Eileen was an involved member of her community, helping to shape it through her volunteerism at many organizations, including the American Legion and their Drill Team and the West Haven VA Medical Center. She served for several seasons as a volunteer usher at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Eileen and her daughter bonded over their shared love of theater.
In addition to her daughter, Eileen is survived by her brother, Donald MacGregor, and his wife, Lily, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, and their children, Gregory, Susan and family, her niece Jean Pavelka Picard and her husband, Bob, and their children, Geoffrey and his family and Matthew, as well as Bobby Pavelka, her favorite nephew, and his wife Cheryl and family of Orneville, Maine. She was predeceased by her nephew Kenny Pavelka who is survived by his family. Eileen’s family also wish to thank Vanette Durrant, Eileen’s aide, for her loving care and companionship.
Funeral arrangements will be private and by invitation only, but please keep the memory of Eileen in your heart to honor her life as a comfort for her family and friends. In honor of Eileen’s love of reading and to promote accessibility to education for all, donations can be made in memory of Eileen Schrempp to the Henry Carter Hull Library, 10 Killingworth Turnpike, Clinton.