Eileen's legacy is the lives she enriched and the warm moments she shared with all of us. She was generous, elegant, focused on others, and beyond talented. She showed her students that comportment and careful personal appearance commands respect.
At every stage of her life, she made forever friends – writing and calling, remembering their life's events and seeing them when possible. Her handwritten notes are treasured.
She maintained close ties with friends from every job she had. She was prolific in her success from Jones Beach summer jobs, Towson, the U of Baltimore, to creative director in Philadelphia and at NYU (headed external publications under President Brademas, where enrollment nearly doubled). At CCNY, she developed and chaired the communications department, was granted a very rare doctoral equivalent for her creative accomplishments – along with Alan Ginsberg – and initiated, raised funds for, and mentored internships that led to careers for dozens of minority students. As Dean of Humanities at the Culinary Institute of America, Eileen developed a bachelor's program. For the last 10 years, Eileen was professor of business communications at NYU Stern School of Business, coaching students to be entrepreneurs and leaders.
Throughout her teaching and mentoring, she was angered by the attitudes and obstacles that make it difficult for women and minorities in business and academics. She ensured that her students, minority male as well as female, and her younger relatives, were strong and savvy; poised to succeed.
Eileen loved her families – the Gilmartin's and Lavallee's - and their spouses, cousins and their children. All the many gatherings—summer vacations, holidays, weddings, showers, christenings—brought her enormous pleasure.
She loved travel (not the flights!) with David and often with family and friends to spectacular cities—cities that had to include art museums and beautiful countryside. Her yearly January trips to St. Martin and Key West were filled with lots of reading and great wine. In recent years, she has taken particular joy in being the devoted Nonna to Nina, Vivian, Hugo and Wallace.
She will be remembered for her caring, humor and big-hearted nature by her friends and family and will be so dearly missed by her husband, David Lavallee.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Eileen's memory to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley or the ACLU.
Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 91 E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY.