Eileen Anne Rogan

February 17, 1932 - February 5, 2016
Racine, WI



Thursday, February 11, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM CST
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
2201 Northwestern Avenue
Racine, WI 53404

AND Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church from 9:00 A.M. until time of Mass at 10:00 A.M.


Friday, February 12, 2016
10:00 AM CST
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
2201 Northwestern Avenue
Racine, WI 53404


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

St. Catherine's High School
1200 Park Avenue
Racine, WI 53403

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
2201 Northwestern Avenue
Racine, WI 53404

Life Story / Obituary


Eileen Rogan was born Eileen Anne Keyes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 17, 1932. She was raised in South Milwaukee in a loving family where faith was an integral role in the upbringing of her and her seven siblings. She was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in South Milwaukee, where she attended grade school, sang in the choir, and was enamored with boys. Eileen first made connections at St. John’s with the many nuns who would have an important role in her life. Activities in the neighborhood involved sports in Grant Park, ice skating on Miller Pond and daily adventures with her many brothers and sisters.

When it came time to attend high school, it was assumed that she would attend either St. Mary’s High School or Notre Dame High School in Milwaukee. However, exhibiting her independence early on, Eileen chose a third option. Her choice was to ride a train daily to Racine and attend Saint Catherine’s High School. At St. Catherine’s she found a dear friend, John “Jack” Rogan.

Throughout high school, Eileen dated many other boys, although continued to maintain a close friendship with Jack. That close friendship once got her into trouble with a nun who criticized Eileen for spending too much time with boys. Jack set that nun straight.

Upon graduation, Eileen attended Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois. After a semester, she returned to Wisconsin and began working as a teller at American State Bank in downtown Milwaukee. Working and spending time with friends defined the next few years of Eileen’s life.

A trip to Washington, D.C. with a friend became a turning point for Eileen. There she met her longtime friend, Jack Rogan, and their romance blossomed. Jack promised his love to Eileen and tried to convince her to elope. She knew her mother would not approve, so their marriage had to wait until they were both back in Wisconsin. Jack and Eileen were married in South Milwaukee on September 3, 1955 at St. John’s.

The next few years were spent moving frequently with Jack as he finished college in Madison and began working for Kinney’s Shoes in Wisconsin, Arizona and California. They started their family immediately and Eileen became a fulltime homemaker. It was while living in Sunnyvale, California, with four children and an opportunity to move to New York, that Eileen knew she needed to return home and raise her growing family in familiar surroundings. They settled in Racine and joined Sacred Heart Church. While Jack worked as a shoe retailer, eventually founding Rogan’s Shoes, Eileen was the matriarch of an exploding family that would eventually number eleven children, whom she loved dearly, and one dog, that she never wanted.

At home, Eileen nurtured the army of children that God blessed her with. The amount of work that it took to keep her family going was monumental. Every day the dining room table was blanketed with folded laundry that her children had to put away. She ran a restaurant out of her kitchen, covering that same dining room table with more than enough food to feed the troops.

In addition to raising, clothing and feeding her children (and its allies, the Rogan household always full of the children’s friends), Eileen also instilled in them the Christian values that she lived throughout her life. Her Christian faith and values were the very essence of her being. Every wall of her house was covered with inspirational insights that provided guidance on how to live a good and faith fulfilling life. The pins she wore every day symbolized the angels that protected her and the unborn she prayed for. She lovingly nurtured her children to be kind to everyone, do your best and protect your loved ones.

She was extremely proud of her Irish heritage, evidenced by the prevalence of the color green and the appearance of four leaf clover throughout her home.

Jack and Eileen had many family, church and business friends. Eileen volunteered at Sienna Center and Saint Catherine’s. She played mahjong weekly. Everyone received birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards. Saturday nights for Jack and Eileen were often spent playing bridge with their numerous friends. Big summertime events were celebrated in the back yard of their Woodview Lane homestead. Those events most often included a Mass and a picnic. Holidays brought more excitement to their home with huge Christmas parties for family and friends.

When the last of their children moved on, Jack and Eileen were able to downsize their home to a small ranch home on 4 ½ Mile Road and spend more time traveling. They took a number of trips to Aruba, Las Vegas and New York while raising their kids, but with their new found freedom, the romantic couple traveled more often and to many places including, Alaska, Mexico, Ireland and Italy.

Eileen kept busy with many interests, including daily crossword puzzles, reading, perfect French onion dip at family events, counted cross-stitch wall hangings for family and friends, and amassing a huge collection of Madonna figurines, giraffes and clowns. Any opportunity to dance with Jack was special and brought tears to her eyes. She was a lifelong baseball fan, first of the Brooklyn Dodgers and then of the hapless Chicago Cubs (much to the despair of her Yankee fan husband and Brewer fan children). Eileen loved some foods so much she ate them almost every day, including pretzels, puffed rice and butter, Rice Krispies, army toast, candy raisins, yellow and green gum drops, and, of course, her daily beverage of choice, Diet Coke.

Jack’s death in 2013 was emotionally, physically and socially devastating to Eileen. After almost 60 years together, Eileen was no longer able to spend time with her soul mate. Over the last few years, Eileen became a legend at many area restaurants. She would eat out every night with at least one of her children, or grandchildren. Numerous waiters, waitresses, bartenders and busboys came to know her well and treat her like a queen.

After a few trips to the hospital in 2014, she needed someone to care for her daily. An angel from Mongolia appeared, Urtanasan “Una” Byakhar. Una stayed with Eileen every day, caring for her needs and keeping the aging woman active, coming to refer to her lovingly as “mama”. Their time together included reading, conversation, drives to the lakefront and trips to the drive-thru for Diet Coke and French fries. Eventually, Eileen’s declining health kept her at home, where she had the peace and comfort of being surrounded by her loving family and devoted caregivers.

Eileen passed away quietly, in the early morning, on Friday, the 5th of February. God has called Eileen home, her family is convinced that God needed a trained professional to keep her husband, Jack, in check. Eileen may be gone from this world, but that’s only because God needed her more.

Eileen was preceded in death by her father, Albert, mother, Edith, brothers, Bill, Bob and Phillip, sister, Fran, grandson, Matt and great grandson, Damian. She is survived by her sisters, Connie, Chris and Jean, children, Thomas (Tammy), Robert (Janice), Patrick (Chris), Eileen (Al), Mary (Neal) Joseph (David), David (Carol), Mark (LeAnn), James (Kathy), Christine (Brian) and Anthony (Cayle), grandchildren, Jessica (Sherman), Jeremiah, Eric, Nicole (Geoff), Dawn (Jonathan), Sean, John, Sarah (Mike), Ellie, Mike, McKenna, Adam, Jonah, Brianna, Grace, Nicholas, Aidan, and Bella, and great grandchildren, Dustin, Gage and Matilda. All will miss her dearly.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, February 12, 2016, 10:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2201 Northwestern Avenue, with Rev. Ricardo Martin officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Thursday from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and on Friday, February 12th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church from 9:00 am until the time of Mass at 10:00 am. Memorials are asked to be sent to Saint Catherine’s High School or Sacred Heart Parish, both of Racine, in Eileen’s name.