BRANTINGHAM – Long time resident and business woman of Brantingham, Eileen M. Kovach von Behren, 88, passed away on Friday, August 8, 2014.
Eileen was born on March 10, 1926, in Nortonville, Town of Greig, to John LeRoy and Mildred E. Waldron Mealus. She attended General Martin High School.
On March 24, 1944, she married James H. “Diamond Jim” Kovach making their home in Glenfield and Brantingham area. In 1970, Jim built the Pethsuma Pines Restaurant and Motel which the couple owned and operated for 14 years. Pethsuma Pines was named for the first two letters of their children.
They were original members of the Brantingham Sno-Mads Snowmobile Club. Eileen also drove her car for BOCES transporting students to other schools; worked in the cafeteria at the South Lewis School and was a bookkeeper for Gerald A. Nortz. She also volunteered in the gift shop at Camp Aldersgate for 13 years.
Eileen and her husband were members of both the United Methodist Church in Lowville and Glenfield Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School and vacation bible school; seeing four of her students going on to become pastors.
After the couple retired, they invited their grandchildren to travel with them in their RV driving to numerous places all over the country. At the young age of 13, Eileen began playing the organ and piano at the Pine Grove Church and over the years, she continued to play at the Otter Creek and Glenfield Methodist Churches. When her husband died on November 10, 1991, Eileen played the organ at Jim’s funeral.
In 2004, she met and married Frederick W. von Behren. Eileen played the organ for the last time at the Trinity Episcopal Church when Fred passed away on December 4, 2011.
Surviving Eileen are her four children; Thomas and Nancy Kovach, New Bremen; Mark and Barbara Kovach, Brantingham; Penny and Carl Sunser, Fulton; Susan and Dennis Gyore, Glenfield; two brothers, Earl and Margaret Mealus, Lowville; John and Sue Mealus, Texas; two sisters, Ruth and Malcolm Snyder, Vernon Center; Lucy and Richard Kapfer, Glenfield; a sister-in-law Ann Mealus; twelve grandchildren; seventeen great-grandchildren; seven step-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews, as well as Fred’s family.
She was predeceased by two brothers, Floyd as an infant and Bert Mealus.
Eileen was founder of Friends of the Brantingham Cemetery where graveside services will be held on Wednesday, August 13th at 12:00 P.M. noon, with Rev. Edward Murphy, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, officiating.
Online condolences may be placed on www.sundquistfh.com.