EILEEN ELIZABETH (KEMP) TEALL
Eileen Elizabeth (Kemp) Teall, 93, passed on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at Glenmont Nursing Facility in Hilliard, Ohio. Eileen was a 34-year resident of Perrysburg, Ohio, and an 18-year resident of Columbus, Ohio, before moving to Glenmont the last two years of her life. Born January 24, 1926, in Granborough, England, Eileen was the youngest child and only daughter of Arthur Cyril and Kate (Dickins) Kemp.
Eileen’s curious nature and lifelong love of learning was a gift from her mother, a former governess. Her sense of adventure came from her father who regaled her in childhood with stories of his own travels, including riding the rails across Canada and the United States, and working on a large wheat farm in Walla Walla, Washington, before returning to England after a three-year absence.
Eileen and her brothers, Chris and Tom, grew up on a farm where they all worked, as she would say, “jolly hard.” She was 13 at the start of World War II and later said, “There was no such thing as teenagers back then, as you were expected to be an adult and get on with it.”
Get on with it she did. At 16, Eileen graduated from the Royal Latin School, Buckingham and secured a job at Buckinghamshire County Library in Aylesbury. She took as many after-work and correspondence courses as she could, even studying during England’s wartime blackout.
In 1947, Eileen graduated from Loughborough College School of Librarianship. Soon after, she went to work on one of the new bookmobiles at Derbyshire County Library in Derby. Two years later, Eileen’s boss told her that an American friend of his had a position for an assistant at a newly established county library in southeast Missouri. She applied and was accepted. But there was a problem: The flood of refugees from war-torn Europe meant there were no trans-Atlantic flights available for at least six months. So, Eileen secured passage on the SS Lafayette, an American freighter, and sailed to her new homeland. While on board, she celebrated her 23rd birthday and arrived in New Orleans in February 1949, thus beginning Eileen’s most excellent 70-year American adventure.
Eileen worked at the Mississippi County Library in Charleston, Missouri for 14 months. The library had the first bookmobile in southeastern Missouri, which meant she took books to schools, stores and private homes throughout the countryside. Eileen then spent a little over seven years working for the Cleveland Public Library, taking library, children’s literature, and history courses at what was then Western Reserve University.
From 1958 to 1963, Eileen was a children’s librarian at Toledo Lucas County Public Library. From 1963 to 1972, she raised her own three children, as well as cared for children of local teachers in her home. To make ends meet, Eileen also sold World Book Encyclopedias. In 1972, she got a job with Way Public Library in Perrysburg, later becoming Coordinator of Children’s Services until her retirement in 1994. Wanting to be closer to family, she moved to Columbus in 1999.
Eileen loved to travel and enjoyed numerous Elderhostel programs. She had a love of nature and gardening. She enjoyed walks and picnics in the parks. She enjoyed her flowers, feeding the birds and watching the squirrels—although she was known to put shortening on the bird feeder pole if those “naughty squirrels” found their way to the feeder. Eileen also took great pleasure in history, international relations, NPR Radio, BBC News, C-SPAN, Book TV and classical music. She enjoyed attending local theatre programs most recently those at Otterbein University. She was an ardent fan of tennis, especially Wimbledon. Her favorite games were Scrabble and Bananagrams—but competitors were hard-pressed to beat Eileen due to her Latin school upbringing. She loved to read and was constantly learning, making use of Alexa and audiobooks up until a week before she passed. Mostly, though, Eileen was interested in people, continually making new friends and always remembering their stories. Of course, her English accent easily charmed those with whom she made acquaintance. It was also the accent that belonged to the lady who read childrens’ books on the TV show “All Things New,” which aired in Toledo on Sunday mornings in the early 1980s.
Eileen had been a student of Christian Science for more than 80 years. She was a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Columbus, Ohio, for the past 20 years, and previously the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Maumee, Ohio. Naturally, she enjoyed putting her librarian and organizational skills to use in the reading rooms, as well as conversing with patrons.
For nearly 54 years, Eileen was a proud member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Her current affiliation was with Chapter AV Columbus; her previous with Chapter AQ Toledo. Eileen also was a member of the Griswold Senior Center, Worthington, Ohio, enjoying the great programs and trips the center offered.
Eileen was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, sister-in-law, niece, and infant daughter, Bonnie Teall. She is survived by her three children, Elizabeth “Liz” (Rick) Hall, Mary Teall, David (Rae) Teall; grandson, Matthew Mancuso, and granddaughter, Amanda Hall, all of central Ohio. In England, she is survived by a sister-in-law, niece, two nephews, two great-nieces and four greatnephews. In both countries, she is survived by so many treasured friends.
In keeping with her stubborn wishes, there will be no public memorial service; instead, her immediate family will remember her with a private service. Contributions may be made in Eileen’s memory to Way Public Library Foundation and Friends, 101 East Indiana Avenue, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551 or at foundation. waylibray.info. Contributions also may be made to Glenmont Christian Science Nursing Facility, 4599 Avery Road, Hilliard, Ohio 43026. Arrangements entrusted to Rutherford-Corbin Funeral Homes and Crematories, Worthington, Ohio. Remembrances can be shared at rutherfordfuneralhomes.com.