Sister Eileen McCarthy, of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a former teacher and family caregiver, died in her sleep July 23, in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was participating in the National Senior Olympics. She was 81.

She is mourned by family members, friends, and her community, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the SSND reported on Monday. On May 4, Sister Eileen celebrated her 60 anniversary of religious profession with her “crowd” at Villa Notre Dame on Belden Hill Road. She was principal at Our Lady of Fatima School in Wilton from 1975 to 1978.

Eileen McCarthy, the second of three girls, was born on Sept. 27, 1932, in Boston, Mass. Her parents were Dennis and Margaret Mary (nee Sullivan) McCarthy, both from County Cork, Ireland. She was baptized Eileen Juliana in honor of her two grandmothers.  It was the time of the Great Depression and her father had been laid off. To pay for medical bills, he had to sell his car. On the day of Eileen’s birth, he received word to report back to work. Her father quickly retrieved his car and told her later that from the day she was born, he was never without a job.

She was predeceased by her sisters Peggy (2004) and Marie (2006).

A wake service was held on July 28 in the Chapel at Villa Notre Dame. The Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on July 29 by the Chaplain, Rev. Thomas Elliott, CSC. Many of her cousins and friends were present at the wake and Mass. Burial followed at St. Mary Cemetery, Bethel, where her sister Marie is buried.