Meet Eileen

Meet Eileen –

Eileen grew up in Virginia, Minnesota. During her high school years, her family moved to Roseau. Eileen was active in cheerleading and music, playing in the band and singing in the choir. Those younger years really helped develop a passion for music that has lasted her entire lifetime.

She met a man through her Church. Vernon had just come back from serving in the military. They fell in love and married when she was only 18. Together they had five children, three girls and two boys. They made a home and lived in Roseau until 1991. Eileen was a homemaker and had a huge garden. She froze or canned a lot of fruits and vegetables to provide for her family. She enjoyed being an organist and pianist for Roseau Covenant Church. Her husband was a salesman for Wilson Brothers and traveled all over the area delivering auto parts.

To supplement their income, Eileen and Vernon owned and operated a popcorn wagon concession business. For 53 years, they sold concessions at local events and county fairs. Their products grew to include popcorn, caramel apples, caramel corn, snow cones, funnel cakes, ice cream sandwiches, nachos and corndogs. As the kids got older, they would help Eileen prepare the food after school. This business grew to include three stands and the income eventually became their retirement fund.

The Grand family was very much into outdoor activities. They had a cabin in Canada and would go boating in the summertime and snowmobiling in the wintertime. Sunday was their family day to do fun things together after Church. Eileen and Vernon believed in leading by example. They were hard working individuals who provided a strong work ethic and faith as a foundation of providing for their family.

After Vernon retired, they moved closer to their children. They built a home near Lake Julia on two and a half acres. This was a hard transition for them, leaving their home and community where they had lived for so many years. To acclimate and meet new people they became involved in Becker Baptist Church where there is a very active older adult group that helped them get to know other members.

Sadly, Vernon passed away in 2009. The family wanted Eileen to have more companionship. That’s when she moved into Shepherd of Grace. Eileen lived in the apartments for a while, then later moved into the Cottages. Her family appreciates that she is in a safe environment with great programming and entertainment and that she is with others interested in her life. They are so pleased that she was able to bring in her piano and that she can play it whenever she desires, to the great enjoyment of everyone. While her memory has declined, she can still play any piece of music put in front of her. Music is one of the last things to lose when dealing with memory issues and it is so therapeutic for those dealing with memory loss. Often while visiting, Eileen will play the piano and her family will sing along or her daughter’s will sit down and play duets with her. This is a great blessing for them as a family, to still be able to do something that they’ve always done together.

We are proud that Eileen calls Shepherd of Grace home.