On Monday morning, July the 15th, 2019, Eileen Adrienne Christensen Royster left this earth to be with her Lord and Savior. She will be missed by so many.
Eileen came into this world August 2nd, 1945 in Portland, Oregon. She was born to Maynard “Chris” and Madeline Wells Christensen, and was later joined by her sister, Jeanne. She spent her early childhood in the Hood River Valley and began her formal education in the first grade at Pine Grove School where her father was a teacher and principal. Some years later the family relocated to Fresno, California where, in 1952, Eileen’s mother married Eileen’s stepfather, Charles Edwards. In 1955 Eileen’s younger brother Thomas joined the family. Eileen attended Jefferson Elementary and Clovis High School in Fresno before the family moved back to Hood River. She then graduated from Wy’East High School in 1963 and went on to attend Portland State University.
In 1963 Eileen married Richard “Dick” Radliff, whom she had known for her entire life. On Mother’s Day 1964 she was overjoyed with the birth of her only child, a son named Jeffrey Richard Radliff. Eileen adored her son.
On August 20th, 1983, Eileen married Herbert “Bert” Royster, who was her loving husband for the remainder of her life. For over 35 years the two enjoyed traveling, good food, and spending hours wandering through Powell’s City of Books. When Eileen retired it was from her long career at Oregon Health and Sciences University. She was especially fond of the time she spent working for Dr. Earl Palmer at the Casey Eye Institute where she had many friends and particularly enjoyed working with children.
Eileen loved clothes and she always looked sharp. She was known for her unique style that, at one time, included hot pink tights with matching hot pink heels. She stated, “My legs need to match my shoes!” She had a true flare for fashion, commenting, “My clothing must give me pleasure”.
Eileen was known by her loved ones as a tremendously talented gourmet cook and a true connoisseur of fine cuisine. She would study, practice, and master, while always remaining humble. She simply truly loved, and took great pleasure in, feeding her family and friends in the same way her grandmother Dorothy Taylor Wells had done. Eileen could often be found wearing one of Dorothy’s aprons while indulging her generosity by busily working away in her kitchen. For it wasn’t just the cooking of meals, it was the feeding of loved ones that gave her pleasure. At one time she even gave her nephew a key to her home so that he could come over at any time to rummage through the kitchen and fill his empty belly. And it was not just her family and friends that she cared for, but also strangers, for Eileen was always conscious of the importance of giving to those less fortunate.
Learning and knowledge were passions for Eileen. She explored her world in many different ways. She loved researching her family history and was a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Eileen also had a strong sense of spirituality, both traditional and non-traditional. From yoga and meditation to attending different churches and bible studies (both in person and online), she was continually exploring. She loved the arts and anything having to do with the creative process. She was an avid and voracious reader, author of poetry, and also a lover of classic films and British comedies. Her soul was one with music and her love of music went from one extreme to the other – opera to bluegrass to Arlo Guthrie and everything in between, she loved it all. She could also read music and adored playing the piano.
For many years she was a member of multiple choral groups where she was able to sing her heart out, blessing all with her lovely voice. Her childhood vocal training came from the hours and hours she and her sister would spend acting out scenes from Broadway musicals such as Oklahoma, Showboat, Carousel, and Hair. Eileen also loved religious and spiritual hymns, many of which made her cry every time she sang them. Whether attending the symphony with her sister, the opera with her son, or seeing Arlo whenever he came to town, she tried to experience and explore it all.
Eileen loved to talk on the telephone to her sister, Jeanne, and close friend Karen for hours on end. They just laughed and joked their way through life’s struggles. Humor was an integral part of Eileen’s life.
She had a unique sense of humor, a wonderfully sweet smile, and a beautiful laugh. Eileen also enjoyed showing her love to people through the gifts she gave them and often surprised loved ones with unexpected packages sent through the mail. She never missed a birthday card, but Amazon will certainly miss her!
Most importantly, Eileen was a true expert at unconditional love and all of us can take a page from her book in this regard. Whether family, friend, stranger or pet she would never ever give up on you and would always be there, no questions asked, to lend a helping hand. Eileen never failed to take care of those whom she loved. She has so many friends and family who will miss her – far too many to list, but every single one of them were always in her heart. Those who never knew her might hear all of this and say that Eileen must have had as big of a heart as anyone, however the multitude of friends and family who were blessed to know her will always say that she had the biggest heart.
Services are planned for 2:00 p.m., Saturday, July 20th, 2019 at Hood River Valley Christian Church (975 Indian Creek Rd, Hood River, OR 97031).
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.