Eilish was the firstborn child of Patrick and Hannah Ryan in Co. Carlow, Ireland. She lived with her parents and grandmother on a farm until her family decided to move to America when she was 14. Her father had already lived in America when he was younger, when he worked at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit as a tool and dye maker. Her mother and father met when he was back in Ireland on holiday, and the two fell madly in love.
After living in America for a few years, Eilish met Michael at an Irish football game in Detroit, Michigan. Early on, Michael worked for other companies – some as far away as Madison, WI. After settling down in Chicago, Michael started his own one man plumbing company. You don’t often hear about women working in the plumbing industry in the 1960’s, but Eilish did! She answered the business phones and managed the growing Flatley business while Michael worked on site.
They worked side by side for many years. She had a genuine interest in the business and talked about it every chance she got! She took pride in her work and she was so proud of Flatley’s Plumbing Express. She was always consulted with business decisions – even in her later years. Eilish was an amazing business woman!
When she wasn’t working, Eilish enjoyed time with her family. Spending time with her children and grandchildren was her favorite. She was genuinely interested in hearing about how everyone was doing. Though she was diligent in her work, she was always attentive to her children. And most of all, she loved her husband and was the most amazing caregiver to him in the end.
If we had to describe her in three words, we would say that she was intelligent, elegant, and gracious. She had a special gift of grace and was capable of making everyone special. Join us in remembering her this Mother’s Day!