OBITUARY: Eileen C. (Monahan) Ceres, 82

Below is an obituary from Nichols Funeral Home:

WILMINGTON, MA — Eileen Catherine Ceres (Monahan), age 82, of Wilmington, MA, formerly a long-time resident East Rutherford, NJ, passed away peacefully on March 18, 2023.

Eileen was born in New York City on May 13, 1940; she was the dear daughter of the late Eleanora Claire (Lamb) and William Joseph Monahan. Eileen was raised in Rutherford, NJ and attended St. Mary’s School from elementary grades through her graduation from their High School with the Class of 1959.

Eileen married the “love of her life” and her best friend Richard “Coot” Ceres in June of 1970; together they raised three children and shared many great times before his untimely passing in 2017.

Eileen was a dedicated pediatric nurse in Newark and Passaic, NJ; she dedicated herself to her patients as well as their families throughout the 1960’s. Eileen retired from nursing in 1971 when she had her first child, Thomas and became a full-time stay-at-home mom ensuring those she loved were well cared for and nurtured through a warm, healthy, and well-run household.

To say Eileen was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother was an understatement; she constantly showered her family with unconditional love and devoted and always went out of her way to do what she could for them. Dinner as a family was mandatory and allowed her three children to share the good, the bad and the ugly of life’s growing pains. Eileen constantly supported them with everything from homework and school projects to their hobbies and non-school interests, encouraging them every step of the way even through adulthood . . . a great mom’s job never ends, no matter the age of her children.

Eileen was actively involved in scouting for many years from supporting her sons during their time as a cub scout and boy scout to becoming directly involved as a den leader then a cub master of East Rutherford Cub Pack 65; she LOVED the boy’s and their families!

Then there was “Mom’s TAXI” for all three children when they were teenagers in EMT school as well as driving them to the firehouse to respond to calls until they were old enough to respond to calls without an adult. She was always an open ear to her children when they would want to talk about their calls and experiences especially the bad ones. Eileen’s years of nursing helped their empathy grow as she taught these then young minds that life is never to be done alone.

As an amazing wife for over 47 years; Eileen was a sounding board for her husband, Richard, her best friend and love, who served their home community of East Rutherford, Bergen County, NJ, as the Fire Commissioner. She stood tall by his side during over twenty years of service doing right by those he took an oath for; they served together with love for their community and neighbors. Richard always fondly referred to Eileen as “his bride” and had no problem reminding his children who was #1 in his life.

When times were financially tough, Eileen could stretch a dollar until it screamed for mercy but the children never knew as she and Richard raised their children with proper priorities not making materialism one of them and subliminally teaching them that none of it can be taken with you and when you leave this world BUT that love is the main ingredient of life.

Holidays at the Cere’s household were memory making times where being together as a family mattered most as opposed to what was under the Christmas tree. Eileen would carry this throughout the year with random trips to nowhere in particular, just getting out of the zip code of 07073 for an “adventure” with the most awesome PB & J sammiches (to this day her children fail to replicate) in a cooler with Capri Suns, snacks, and made-up road games.

Eileen and Megan were #1 & #2 respectively, ranked “Nerds” with the families “Nerd of the Week club” after the movie “Revenge of the Nerds” came out in the 1980’s. Yes, humor was always a part of the Ceres household, including but not limited to the precious bumper sticker on the bathroom door that asked the all-important question “What if the whole world farted at once?”

Eileen loved to travel with no particular place in mind; she just packed the kids into the car and picked a direction. After Richard passed away, she would grab her maps and an ice coffee and explore Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Afterwards, she would love to tell her family where she went and what she saw or bought.

In her spare time, Eileen was an AVID reader; this was quite a feat considering that she got left behind in grammar school because she couldn’t read. She turned into a big-time bookworm devouring everything from stacks of Reader’s Digest books to Agatha Christie to Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing . . .” series to Mary Higgins Clark and everything in between. Barnes and Noble was one of her happy places.

Eileen left quite a mark on this earth; she went out of her way to help others; she was a great mentor and a wonderful friend. Eileen’s devotion to her family was evident in everything she did; she will forever live on in their hearts.

Eileen was the devoted mother of Thomas Ceres and his companion Darlene of Wilmington, MA, Megan Ceres of Yantic, CT and Patrick Ceres of Blairstown, NJ. She was the loving Nana to two of her proudest accomplishments Emma Ceres of Narragansett, RI and Brendan Ceres of Manchester, NH. Dear sister of William Monahan and his wife Mary Ellen of Hacienda heights, CA, Anne Ford and her late husband Andrew of Glen Ellyn, IL, Peter Monahan of Rutherford, NJ, Thomas Monahan and his wife Kathleen of Rutherford, NJ and Mary Monaghan and her husband Bill Smith of Tucson, AZ. Eileen is further survived by many nieces, nephews, as well as great-nieces and nephews.

At Eileen’s request her services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Eileen’s memory to support cancer research and patient care to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, P. O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, Wilmington, MA. To leave a message of condolence for the family please visit our website at

Eileen C. (Monahan) Ceres

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