Eileen Augusta Rowton Floch of Okanogan, Washington, passed away peacefully at her home May 4, 2015. She was born on June 19, 1930, in the hilltop community of Molson, Wash. to Olaf and Eva Rise.
Both Olaf and Eva’s families emigrated from Scandinavia, one from Norway and the other from Sweden. The young family lived and worked on Eva’s parents’ dairy farm located just shy of the Canadian border. Mom and her sisters grew up in the picturesque two-story farmhouse built by their Grandpa and Grandma Anderson. Mom loved to reminisce about her grandmother, whom she is named after, sitting on the wide wraparound porch peeling apples and calling to her in her heavy Swedish accent. The multi-generational family embraced America, but family life was rooted in the traditions of the old country, as well, with holiday meals of lutefisk, flat bread and pickled herring.
Mom was fond of telling the story of her birth, which was in the family kitchen on the kitchen table. We are convinced that her birth on the kitchen table influenced the rest of her life. The kitchen was always her favorite room in our house. And the kitchen table was the site of wonderful meals, gathering of family and friends over coffee and the place where she and dad corralled their brood of six children to instruct, praise and chew out. We learned that during our chewing out from mom, to never make the mistake of talking back to her or we might get chased around that kitchen table with mom swatting our backside with the broom.
Eileen attended school in Molson and graduated in 1948. She married Joshua Erwin Rowton on Nov. 21, 1948 and they raised their six children, Bruce, Dale, Verle, Risë, Evan and David on the family farm in Molson. Mom recently shared with us that she really doesn’t remember a lot about those early years because the farm, diapers, everybody getting chickenpox and measles and keeping us all fed those years are a blur. Well we remember, you and dad gave us some great memories like the time you started the house on fire. Mom loved a rip-roaring fire in the furnace and one time the fire burst from the chimney and browned the wall behind the stove. We loved the trips to Art’s Drive-In for burgers by the bagful and it took lots of bags of burgers to feed us. We remember the wonderful picnics and swimming at Lost Lake. And we remember your obsession with curtains. Curtains were a great love of mom’s and changing them every few months was not unusual.
After dad passed away, mom married Fred Floch on Sept. 5, 1987, and moved to Okanogan. Fred embraced this large, extended family and brought a new twinkle to mom’s pretty blue eyes. Her life with Fred included a circle of good friends, tending her flowers, keeping up with the happenings of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Fred brought a new tradition to our family: that of a toast at family meals. So, I’ll end with a toast:
Let’s have a toast to a woman named Eileen
In our hearts she’ll always be Queen.
Even though you’re not hungry, she’ll give you food
And you’ll eat it, so as not to be rude.
She will love you from the start
And carry you in her heart.
A stronger woman you will never find.
She is steadfast and true, loving and kind.
So here’s to a woman named Eileen,
In our hearts you will always be Queen.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, June 13 at noon at the Molson Grange Hall in Molson, Wash. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided by the family, we would appreciate your contribution of salad or dessert. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Molson Historical Society