Eileen Hickey, 67, active volunteer, former Ridgefielder

Eileen Marotta Hickey, 67, passed away as a result of metastatic lung cancer on Monday, February 25, 2013, surrounded by family at her home in Charlotte, NC.

She is survived by her husband, Kevin J. Hickey, daughters Erin Clegg and Kelly Impson and son Daniel Hickey.  Also surviving are her two beloved grandchildren, Bella Blair Impson and Ryan Joseph Hickey.

Eileen’s greatest passion in life was ensuring the happiness of those around her, whether it was sharing her love with her family, providing laughter to her many close friends, or volunteering with numerous causes helping those in need.

Born on February 21, 1946, in Sommerville, MA, Eileen was the oldest of the five children of Al and Helen Marotta.  After graduating Stoneham High School, she first studied at Fisher College, beginning a lifelong quest for education that never ended.  She would later earn an Associate’s degree at CPCC in Charlotte in 2010, and continued her education at UNC Charlotte up until last December.  Her studies reflected her giving nature as she focused her learning on child development and social work, with the ultimate goal of teaching literacy to both at-risk children and adults.

After Fisher College, Eileen moved to Washington, DC, to work for a New York congressman on Capitol Hill, reflecting her zeal for politics.  It was there she met Kevin in 1970 whom she married in 1971.

After the birth of Kelly in 1976, Eileen decided to become a full-time mother.  Raising her family through stops that included Texas, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Eileen ultimately settled in Charlotte, where she lived for the past 18 years and where she finally lost her thick Boston accent.

Commensurate with her passion for helping others, she continued to aid numerous charitable causes throughout this time, volunteering her efforts in several causes including the Red Cross, Child’s Place, and various charities associated with her church.  She also enjoyed a number of social pastimes with her dear friends, including regular card games and tennis, activities in which her unique desire for ‘everyone to win’ occasionally frustrated teammates but were ultimately endearing to all who crossed her path.

Eileen will be sorely missed by her friends and family, in particular her grandchildren who loved her dearly and appreciated her youthful energy, creativity, and patience during their endless playtime.

The family will receive friends at the Heritage Funeral Home in Weddington on Wednesday February 27th from 6pm to 8pm, and the Funeral Mass is scheduled for 11am at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Charlotte on the following day.  Eileen has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Center for Children and Families in Washington, DC, a nonprofit organization that assists vulnerable children and families for which her daughter Erin currently works.  The center can be found at www.nccf-cares.org.

Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home, 3700 Forest Lawn Drive, Matthews NC, 28104.  An online guestbook is available at www.heritagecares.net.