Eileen Christiaens died at the age of 88 on Dec. 10 in Melissa, Texas, after a brief illness.  

She was born on April 2, 1925 to George and Gertrude Hayes, and grew up in a large Irish-American family of 10. Eileen graduated from high school in Valier and later served in the U.S. Navy in Seattle. She met and married her husband, Leon (Chris) Christiaens, in Conrad after WWII. The couple lived in Conrad until they moved to Helena in 1961, where they lived until Chris died in 1980.

Eileen was a very active member of the Catholic Church throughout her life, participating in any way that was needed from singing in the choir, to helping celebrate the mass, to visiting and helping the poor and infirmed. She lived her life most fully when she was helping others

She enjoyed watching sports, especially college basketball, and loved to participate and compete in sports and card games of all kinds. Later in life she participated in the Senior Olympics winning the New Mexico State Championship in Pool and Ping Pong.  She was a good and loving wife, mother and friend, and will be missed by many. 

Eileen is survived by one sister, Anne Green of Security, Colo.; one sister-in-law Sandy Hayes of Cut Bank; by her two sons, Steve Christiaens and his wife Sherry, whom she lived with for many years in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Texas, and Dan Christiaens and his wife Pamela Meyer; two grandchildren, Cody Christiaens and Bernae Christiaens and by five great-grandchildren. 

The family will celebrate a funeral mass in her honor in Valier in July 2014 and Eileen’s ashes will be interred next to her husband’s in the Valier cemetery.