Monday, September 17, 2012

goodbye Eileen.

Eileen left us at 7:30 last night.  She was very peaceful and her mom and I were by her side.  She had been holding on for a couple days as her body failed her.

I whispered to Eileen that I was taking Red for a hike in the hills, and she passed away shortly after I returned.....she had waited for me.  There was a beautiful sunset during our hike...nowhere near as beautiful as she.

Her body will be cremated and I'm thinking of a small memorial gathering in the future, but for now I want to spend time with our family and friends.

I know Eileen touched many many lives.  If you wouldn't mind, I think it would be really nice if you'd leave a short remembrance or fond memory of Eileen in the comments here.  If you'd prefer, you can email me privately instead [v dot plows at gmail dot com].

fuck cancer.


If you would like to make a donation in Eileen's memory, and help fuck cancer, please consider donating to UCSF.  Eileen always received amazing care and had access to cutting edge clinical trials and treatments.  Her wish was for any donations to be made toward breast cancer research.

Here's what to do:

go to this UCSF link

-choose 'Choose a designation' under "MAKE A GIFT"
-choose 'other' and write "BREAST CANCER RESEARCH"
-under "WHAT TYPE OF GIFT WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE?" choose an amount to donate and check the box that says "This contribution is in honor or memory of someone."
-choose gift type "In Memory of"
-fill in Eileen Rohmer

thank you.


  1. Ms. Rohmer was one of Piedmont High School's best teachers. She had such a wonderful, dry sense of humor and I often thought how lucky Piedmont was to have her. Undoubtedly, her impact on others extended beyond PHS as she truly was a remarkable person.

  2. I will never forget meeting Eileen for the first time years ago when I was still at Pixar. I immediately felt a great connection with her, for her smile, genuine spirit and humor was always great to be around with.

    I feel lucky that our paths somehow crossed so I could enrich my life with her soul for those moments. Eileen, you will be missed, but you will live on with that memory of a truly remarkable person.

    Keith, my friend, I have always felt lucky enough to count you as one of my good friends, but now more than anytime, please don't hesitate to count on me for any support,for being there, for anythingn that only a friend can do. I will be there. A very special hug to you.

  3. I only know Eileen through her writing on this blog where she so often shared simple acts of love and friendship - that's the very best we can ask for in life, a gift that matters most.

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you, your family and Eileen.

  4. I believe the first time I met Eileen was a Halloween party where both her and Keith were dressed as awesome monsters created from an obscene amount of unrolled video tape. Just as their costumes matched... so did they. I never got to know her well... but I always saw how happy she made Keith... and what a good team they made. It is so very sad... but at least now her pain is over.

    Stay strong Keith... you have many friends.

  5. I taught with Eileen for just one semester--I took a temporary position at Piedmont as I transitioned from grad school. She's one of my most favorite coworkers ever--smart, funny, down-to-earth. She's the one who taught me the phrase "harshed my mellow" (she was never the one harshing it, though!), and she was one I sympathized with frequently over the stresses of teaching. We shared a prep period, and honestly that hour of working but having someone fun to chat with was usually the highlight of my day!

    The Monday after e and Keith came back from eloping, I snuck off campus during my prep period to find some sparkling cider at the local convenience store so we could have something to toast her with! She seemed a little embarrassed by the attention, which I thought was rather endearing--but it's not everyday you get to celebrate an elopement!

    I'm about six years younger than Eileen, and although she never treated me like a "little sister," I often regarded her as my bay area "big sister." She was awesomely supportive and helpful and listened patiently and gave great advice.

    I really missed her when I left the bay area, but was glad we could still keep in touch from time to time, even when it was only via blog lurking and Words with Friends. I'm so sad she's gone. I learned so much from her, watching her endure the difficulties that cancer presented with her characteristic wit, tenacity, and humor. I know this sounds trite, but honestly, I just think she's one of those people who made the world better just by being in it.

    Keith, I'm so very sorry for your loss. You married an amazing woman!

    (p.s., miss you, e!)

  6. Keith,

    I'm very saddened to hear of your loss. I didn't get the chance to know Eileen very well, but on the occasions that we did meet, she was engaging, sincere, generous and thoughtful. The world is diminished by her passing.

    Having gone through something similar recently, I have more than the usual amount of understanding as to what you might be feeling. If you need anything, or just want to talk don't hesitate to pick up the phone.

    You will both be in my thoughts...

  7. Goodbye Mrs. Rohmer. You were an amazing teacher and person. I'm glad we got to visit you one last time. You blessed us with your presence, your made us laugh with your witty sense of humor, and you helped so many others by teaching so many students (like me). Wherever you are now, I wish you the best.

  8. Ms Rohmer was one of my favorite teachers. She was a very cool and funny teacher who would put up with my obnoxious antics in her class and she created an environment where students could feel free to approach her. She was like a school celebrity to the group of kids I hung out with, spawning a facebook group devoted to the funny things she would say in her signature deadpan style. I'm really sad I didn't get to see her again after graduation and I know that I won't be the only to miss her.

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss. Eileen was loved by so many on our BC website. She will be sorely missed.

    I hope the pain you must be feeling turns to only cherished memories as soon as possible.

  10. Ms. Rohmer was one of my favorite teachers in High School... Even if I didn't do well in her class she always pushed me to do better and it always paid off. I loved her jokes and her love for moles. She was my first exposure to real chemistry and I will always remember her for that, for the rest of my life. I wish you the best.

  11. Ms. Rohmer,

    I can't believe Honors Chem with you was 6 years ago. I consider your class to be the first in my academic career to really push me as a student. You taught me how to study, and gave me a good foundation and opinion of chemistry that I've carried with me throughout my time in college.

    Beyond all of that, you were one of the nicest and most gracious teachers I'd encountered at PHS. You were always fun to talk to and joke with, whether it was after class or during a prep period in the science office. Despite your class being difficult, you were always fair, helpful, and available. You provided a nurturing environment for me in a class that would've otherwise been incredibly stressful.

    I'll always remember you as one of my favorite and most impactful teachers from high school. Rest in peace, Ms. Rohmer.

  12. I took Ms. Rohmer's Honors Chem class 4 years ago, but she is still the best teacher I have ever had. Ms. Rohmer was able to make chemistry extremely interesting and fun. Everyday I looked forward to her class and her bubbly personality. No other teacher made me smile every time I saw you in the hall like you did. Thanks so much for being part of defining my high school experience. The world has lost a truly wonderful person.
    Thank you.

  13. I had the pleasure of being Eileen's student for two years during high school. She was the teacher who got stuck with every unruly 15 year old boy at PHS in one class, probably one of her more challenging teaching memories. She was feisty, I will always remember her eye-roll of disbelief when they attempted to stir up trouble, yelling across the classroom or throwing paper balls at one another. Despite the frustrations of dealing with such trying kids, I will never forget her laugh and the humor she brought to the classroom. The compassion she showed to me and her other students was something I will always treasure. She was a teacher who earned her students respect and was an amazing asset to our community. Thanks for everything Ms. Rohmer, you will be missed dearly.

  14. Our thoughts are with you, Keith. Paola and I only met you once at the CT stop on the wedding tour, but I knew you were someone special if you were the One for Eileen. Eileen was clearly the most loved of all the science teachers at RHS. I can still hear the calls in the hall - "Rohmer!". She was a joy to have as a colleague. And it was a joy to see her glow once she had you.
    Tony and Paola DeCristofaro

  15. Having Honors Chem with Ms. Rohmer taught me so much. I was always inspired in seeing such a strong-willed, scientifically-inclined woman--she proved to the world (and the boys in my class) that science was not made for men only. She always kept her students entertained and engaged with her witty and sarcastic sense of humor. Even though chemistry was not my strongest subject, Ms. Rohmer was always willing come in before class, at lunch, or after school to help me and the other struggling students with our work. I am honored to have had such a courageous woman for a teacher. She will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privledge of knowing her.

  16. Keith - your poise, bravery and love have been amazing to watch. We will write more later about your wonderful partner but know our thoughts are with you and the family right now .
    Shel, Julia, Kelsey and Bryce

  17. Ms. Rohmer was such a positive presence in my life when I had her for a teacher. Never a science buff, I was nonetheless always happy to put in the work for her. Looking back, there are few teachers I had so much respect for and I would like to think that, should I ever go into teaching, I'd be able to handle a classroom half as well as Ms. Rohmer. I was so sad to hear of her passing and send all my warmest regards to her friends and family.

  18. It's been so long since that year in Honors Chemistry with her, almost 6 years now. Despite the time, I still remember attending lecture and seeing her put up with nearly every crazy thing my class could come up with. One that stuck out was during a timed lab, someone called for her from across the room. When she walked over and said what, they replied, "oh nothing. Just wanted to see how long it would take you come over."
    Thanks for your patience, your enthusiasm, your humor, and your time Ms. Rohmer. Thanks for everything

  19. Honors Chemistry with Ms. Rohmer was certainly one of my favorite, if not favorite, classes ever. She was just so good at teaching, connecting with her students, and exuding the passion she clearly had for science. I loved her demonstrations, when she would light gummy bears on fire or produce some other colorful flame from various elements. She was so enthusiastic, willing to help, funny, empathetic, and kind. For me, chemistry will always be synonymous with Ms. Rohmer and her rainbow lab goggles and mole stuffed animals. She truly sparked the interest for science that I have today. Thank you so, so much, Ms. Rohmer. You are in my thoughts, rest in peace. -Natalie K.

  20. Keith,

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.

    It's going to be hard to find words to console you, but as I remember her, she was so friendly and warm.
    I've been reading the blog and came to know her much better. She was so sincere, positive and grateful for what she had. And she was a fighter too. I find it very inspiring.

    Hope she is in peace now without any pain.

    Love and peace,
    Ye Won

  21. Dear Keith,

    We cannot begin to thank you for all of your loving, heroic, and herculean efforts in caring for Eileen!!!!! You will inspire all of us for years to come. But, I do want to thank you for your last two posts; they were simply heartbreakingly lovely. And, what spectacularly gorgeous photos!!

    I wanted to post something today. Since my heart is at half-mast and my capacities are much diminished, I think I will dust off a post entry from July. Even though it is re-cycled, it is still meant to be a heart-felt contribution. Are we allowed seconds on this blog, additional air/post time?? Ha ha! Seriously, perhaps, I will post again.

    But before my entry, I want to pose a question to you Keith. This may not be appealing or appropriate, but I thought that I would throw it out there for what it’s worth. If you ever feel moved, we would love to hear any of your thoughts, reflections, and memories of Eileen- large or small; silly or profound, lengthy or pithy! Again, this may never feel right, or you may choose another venue, but I thought that I would mention, nonetheless.

    Hello, I’m Jane, and I am one of Eileen’s aunts. The following is slightly edited-down version (to fit within the character limits of the blog) of a late comment in response to a particularly tough blog post in July.

    Words just fail, plain and simple. It is literally impossible to adequately convey the depth and breadth of our admiration and love for you, as well as the stratospheric-level of awe we have for you. Your approach and all-around take on things for the past two-plus years bring new meaning to words like valiant, brave, honest, graceful, and humorous (of course!). Even in the past week, after you and Keith made the insidiously gut-wrenching decision to stop chemo, and sign up for Hospice services, you maintained your signature-level of groundedness and graciousness. You welcomed us in, chitchatted, and fed us! It was wonderful to spend time with you and Keith!!

    But why should I expect anything less? Really. You always amazed. Whether we are talking about fashion or musical tastes, political sensibilities, or all-around priorities, you always stood out (in a good sort of way!)

    While many teenaged girls in the mid-1980’s had a prime preoccupation of maneuvering and angling for their next Laura Ashley dress, and existed on a steady and limited musical diet of Bon Jovi, George Michael, and Huey Lewis and the News, you were much more sophisticated and open to alternatives.

    A key fashion statement for you was sporting an “El Salvador is Another Word for Viet Nam” button. And in terms of musical sensibilities, I remember you searched out cassettes for old progressive classics such as Phil Ochs, the Guthries, and Tom Paxton. These cassettes were not always readily available, but being a resourceful person you found them!

    The 1980’s were a conservative time, but despite the general climate you were eager to look into an exchange program that would allow you to have an adventure outside of US-suburbia

    And, you were generous with your resourcefulness. I have memories of you quietly and patiently figuring out a bum appliance or a shorted-out electric fence for your parents (or, as they were affectionately referred to as “the rents”) or for your grandmother.

    I feel like I am at the end of an algebraic proof; I have successfully proved my opening: "Words (fucking) fail!!!!!!!!" The title of a Steve Martin book leaps to mind: Pure Drivel!

    These are just bits and pieces, perhaps verging on a nail-on-chalkboard annoying level of simplicity and triteness. But despite being wide of the mark, they are very heartfelt!!! You rock, Eileen!!!!!!

    And, today’s closing sentiment: Eileen, you will be sorely, sorely missed, but never forgotten!!!!!!!!

    Much love, Jane

  22. I am sorry to hear that you have passed from this world, for you were a very kind person, and a wonderful teacher. You brought your profession to life in a way that was special. I can't believe that you are gone, but I am sure that you are at peace and well now, the pain that plagued you finally gone. It was a pleasure to have known you, learned from you, and worked for you for a brief time, you are sorely missed.

    K. Permaul

  23. Ms. Rohmer, You were by far the best teacher I've had. I'm so glad I got the chance to see you again this summer before I head back to college. Your humor and passion about chemistry inspired me. Thank you for taking the time before school, during lunch and after school to help your students succeed. May you rest in peace.

  24. Ms. Rohmer,
    You have always been and will always be my favorite teacher. You made me actually like science and you didn't make coming to class a chore. I feel so lucky and happy to know that I got to have you as my teacher for two years and I cry whenever I think about how I'll never be able to see your rainbow goggles or cheesy chemistry pick up lines. I cry whenever I realize that I never got to tell you all this in person. You were an amazing, funny, lovable nerd and I will never forget you. Fuck cancer.

  25. Dear Keith - Eileen certainly was a very special talented techer based on the many notes posted from her former students. Her love for teaching is shining through the many students comments. You and Eileen were a special couple. May God's special love be with you are you travel along His way. Memories of fun times and also the challenges stay with us after losing a spouse. The rain here in Wakefield today is a sign of tears that we have for you. God's peace to you and Eileen's family and your family. Love, Nancy Luoma Kangas

  26. Ms. Rohmer's compassion, determination, and amazing ability to make everybody smile is something that I will always remember. She truly was an amazing and sweet human being right down to her core and I am so fortunate to have had Ms. Rohmer as my teacher. Her never-ceasing kindness is an inspiration to us all. She is deeply missed. Fuck cancer.

  27. Ms. Rohmer,
    You were the best teacher anyone could ask for. You had a gift for teaching, finding the perfect balance between serious work time and a funny, light classroom environment with plenty of corny chemistry pick up lines. Your dedication to your students and perseverance through the beginning of the school year last year was truly inspirational. I wish I had the chance to see you one last time and witness your dry, witty sense of humor again. I don't think you'll ever realize how many lives you impacted. Never will Ms. Rohmer to be forgotten . Rest in peace.

  28. I went to wake forest with eileen- we both were in training to be science teachers. We all knew then what a great teacher she was going to be and it's obvious from many comments I see, that turned out to be the case.

    I have fond memories of hanging out with her at a bar named ziggys in Winston-Salem and one night in particular we all jammed to a band named "freakapotamus" and then we all crashed on her floor. She was a neat person and the world was better off for her

  29. I was fortunate enough to be Ms. Rohmer's student for a year. She was a fantastic teacher who made learning fun and who cared about her students. She was also a kind person and an inspirational role model. Ms. Rohmer, rest in peace.

  30. Ms. Rohmer will be deeply missed by those students who were lucky enough to spend time with her at Piedmont High. I particularly remember her excitement about stoichiometry. She dedicated so much effort to each and every student, and even took the time to go beyond her job requirements by entertaining us after class with her wonderful sense of humor or by writing personal letters of recommendation for college.

    As she taught, it was evident that she respected us, and in doing so reflected her belief that we would all grow and be able to conquer any academic challenge. It is clear through this blog, which you have been so open and considerate to share with us, that this resilience and strength permeated all aspects of her life. Even after she stopped being able to teach in the classroom, her fight against cancer teaches us even more about courage. Thank you.

    Sarah L.

  31. Ms. Rohmer touched all of her students' lives through her fantastic attitude and love of teaching and she will never ever be forgotten by those who knew her. I was lucky enough to have her for two years, during which she shared her love of science with not only me, but the entire class. She was one of the most inspiring, optimistic, funny, kind, and wonderful people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and I hope that someday we can ensure cancer no longer threatens those we care about. Ms. Rohmer, I miss you.

  32. Eileen made tremendous impact at the Piedmont community. She was the ideal PHS teacher... someone who held high standards while embracing all differences in learning styles. She provided attention and care for each and every one of her students. She definitely left a footprint at Piedmont. Eileen, you are my inspiration.

  33. The year I took Honors Chemistry was Ms. Rohmer's first year at PHS, and how fortunate we were to have her as our mentor and teacher. I will always remember:

    1) the high quality of education and SCIENCE she brought to PHS,
    2) her signature eye-roll,
    3) her smile,
    4) her deadpan humor,
    5) her Monsters Inc. t-shirt,
    6) how she told us that her boyfriend (now husband) was a lighting engineer for Pixar, and how I thought they were the nerdiest and cooliest couple I ever knew,
    7) that story she told us of when she was in college and got pulled over by the cops for riding a bike while under the influence of alcohol (oh how I wish I could have heard more of your adventures over a couple of beers at Bear's Lair!),

    and many more....

    Ms. Rohmer -- You were a feisty gal, not intimidated by us rowdy children. You were a mentor, who inspired me and opened my eyes to the possibilities and wonders of science. Because of you, I discovered my passion for engineering. I will truly miss you.

  34. I remember Gabe Cohn and I took Physical science freshmen year and we would always play little pranks on Eileen by saying the same thing as we entered the room or copying each other's movements. The most memorable joke was completely unintentional. Ms. Rohmer said to "take a mental picture" and at that moment Gabe and I made our hands look like they were holding cameras and pretended to take a picture. I had my back to Gabe, so i didn't even notice him doing this and i assume that our autonomy was as clear to Ms. Rohmer as it was to us because she just stopped teaching, stood still for a moment with her mouth agape, and then said "Holy crap." That is one of the strangest things that has happened to me to this day. I hope she remembered that moment as fondly as i do. Rest In Peace

  35. Ms. Rohmer was a special teacher and woman. I was lucky enough to have her for freshman science and again in honors chem. She was the first teacher I could easily relate with and she inspired me to try hard and sparked in me a very big appreciation for science and chemistry. I will never forget her teachings and how she influenced me to become the person I am today. You will be missed and never forgotten, Eileen. Thank you for all your hard work.

  36. I never even had the honor of having Ms. Rohmer as a teacher or knew her really but read this blog because my grandfather had gone through something like this and I wanted to be able to support both Ms. Rohmer and Keith. My sympathies to you Keith. I admire your dedication to keeping everyone updated and helping Eileen through everything. Today, the whole school took a moment of silence for you Ms. Rohmer. It was obvious that the whole school was very shaken up because we knew that we had just lost a great person in our lives that will never be replaced. My only regret about this is that I wish I could have gotten to know that great person. Rest in peace Ms. Rohmer.

  37. Eileen was so loved by everyone at Rye HS. Hardly anyone called her Eileen though; we all called her ROHMER, colleagues and students alike. When we were both teaching AP Environmental Science I would love taking my class outside with hers so that I could watch in awe as she was able to name almost every plant in sight. Rohmer introduced me to the world of orchids and to my first homebaked scone (I've still got the recipe.) My chemistry students still wear the "rainbow goggles" that Rohmer left me when she moved to California.
    When I heard that Eileen was going on a date with a guy who was taking her snowshoeing I knew that she had met her perfect man. Thank you Keith for being that perfect man. Thank you for helping her to enjoy life and thank you for taking care of my friend when she needed you most.
    Eileen has been an inspiration to me throughout this whole horrific ordeal. Her courage and sense of humor are beyond compare. I was crying as I read some of the previous comments but burst out laughing when I read the comment from a former student quoting her saying "Holy crap!". I can hear her now and I can see that famous eye roll.
    When G-d and her father meet her in Heaven, G-d's gonna yell out, "ROHMER! Welcome home!" I think they'll both burst out laughing when she looks over at them in astonishment and yells "Holy crap!"
    Gonna miss you Rohmer.

  38. I've had the good fortune to have many good teachers in my life, but Ms. Rohmer was extraordinary in every sense of the term. She was the kind of teacher and the kind of person that had faith in others' ability to understand and to grow. Ms. Rohmer simply expected her students to rise to the occasion and alternately mocked and supported them until they did. For a high school student, there is no greater gift than the knowledge that somebody believes in your ability to succeed.

    Chemistry has never come naturally to me. But thanks to Ms. Rohmer's guidance, I soon discovered the joy of struggling and overcoming those challenges. I am now a junior in college, pre-med and minoring in chemistry. I simply don't think that would have happened if not for that one class and that one incredible teacher.

    Rest in peace, Ms. Rohmer. You will be remembered and greatly missed.


  39. Eileen, my world is better for knowing you. I still remember my interview at RHS, and seeing you there. I remember doing summer work with you, setting up labs with you, grading regents exams. But most of all is your humor though everything- and how you brough out humor in me. I will miss you. I told Dan (my husband) the world was just left off worse without you in it. Hearing you and Keith over these last few years has taught me what strength is, and what true grace is. ROHMER I will miss you.
    I love you, Sue Abramson

  40. You were such an encouragement to me when I took AP Environmental Science with you my junior year at Rye. I had started to love science when I took chemistry the year before, but you made me enjoy science even more with your humor and sincere compassion and "real-world" experiences. Participating in Science Olympiad was also really fun, as you and Mrs. Leahy were such encouraging and gifted advisors. You were also one of the reasons that I pursued a graduate degree in teaching. I prayed for you a lot during your struggle, and I thank you for the wonderful teacher and impact you have made in my life and others. The world is a better place because of the strength and giftedness that you had!
    - Angela

  41. I never had the luxury to have Ms. Rohmer as my teacher at Piedmont, however I fondly remember running into her in the halls or when I was skipping out of another chemistry class. But after reading through this entire blog it makes me believe that she had an amazing last few years, traveling to all the spots she wanted and enjoying the last precious moments. Life is too short and often a bitch but if you live life the way you want you can leave this world with a little sense of achievement and happiness. This blog and Ms. Rohmer have given me the strength to live life to the fullest with no regrets. thank you.
    And may your mourning be filled with some happy thoughts, because thats what she would have wanted.

  42. Keith,

    Even though I only met Eileen on one occasion, I thought she was a really nice person.
    Now, after reading about how many lives she has touched, I KNOW she was a very special person.
    My deepest sympathies to you and your family and friends.

    Take care,
    Red (from the chongo days)

  43. So very sorry for your loss. Eileen and I went to the same high school although I was a year ahead of her. Unfortunately, I never knew her personally but I knew of her. A mutual friend posted something on facebook about her blog and I've been checking in the last few months. From what I have read, it is obvious Eileen was an amazing wife, daughter, friend and teacher. Wishing you peace during this most difficult time.

    Liz (Reed) Rey

  44. Ms Rohmer spent hours outside the classroom helping me through her Honors Chemistry course. A teacher with that kind of dedication to science and to her students is a gift to any school. My best friend and I were in her class and it took an awe-inspiring level of patience on her part to handle our across-the-room antics, and the rest of the goons in the class. Whenever we made her smile or she took part in our tomfoolery, I remember thinking how awesome she was. She was an incredibly clever woman, one that I had a lot of respect for, the kind this world needs more of.
    Missing you, Rohmsey-bop (still hard to believe she let me call her that). I am a better scientist and woman for having known you. I hope you get all the love I am sending.

  45. Eileen what a special person, I had the opportunity to know Eileen and how special she was. While she battled cancer with grace and strength it will not be how I remember Eileen.. but rather how she lived and embraced life. She lived it on her own terms. I love you Eileen!!! Until then...

  46. I was lucky enough to have Ms. Rohmer as my teacher for physical science in 9th grade. I always looked forward to class with my favorite teacher, and she was an inspiration for me in the same way that my mom, who also lost a battle with cancer, was. I learned so much in her class, and I decided to take Honors Chemistry this year just because I wanted to have Ms. Rohmer as a teacher again. It's so unfair that the best teacher I could have ever asked for is no longer with us. Rest in peace Ms. Rohmer, you will be greatly missed.

  47. When in high school I was always amused by Eileen's humor and spirit. I imagine both helped her in her long battle with such an ugly disease. Keith, I cannot express in words how sorry I am for your loss. From Eileen's blog it is clear what an amazing, patient, and loving husband you are. God bless you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Eileen's mom and sister. Love, LeeAnn Prete Browett

  48. Rohmer, it meant so much to me to reconnect with you after I moved out here; thank you again for being such a bright spot in my high school experience. I am thinking of you every time I open my textbooks and read about cell biology for the first time in 10 years (can you believe it's been that long since I was in your class!?), and I will think of you in the future every time I have a patient who shows the candor, grace, and courage that you have in dealing with this fucking nightmare of a disease.


  49. She left the world a better place: students she inspired with confidence and a love of learning, colleagues who enjoyed working and collaborating with her, friends and family who loved her. Let's not forget her- ever. She will inspire me as I face the certain challenges and sorrows any person's life includes. Her spirit should live on in all of us. Thank you, Keith, for sharing this all with us. Wishing you (and mom and sister) peace, love, and comfort in your sorrow.

  50. Many of Eileen’s colleagues in the RHS Science Department always joked about Rohmer being “such a nerd”. And she was, in the very best connotation of the word. I remember taking a teacher summer institute class with her and we each had to build a model solar home. Many of us went through the motions, but Eileen built a perfect White Colonial, with many beautiful windows to let in the light. It really was so much like Eileen to go the extra mile. It was such a privilege for me to have worked with her for so many years. I learned so much from her.

    Keith….as I read what Eileen and you wrote in the blog, I was saddened but often uplifted. That is because your humor and approach to this whole ordeal, reaffirmed to me, the power of love and commitment to others. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Eileen’s mom, sister and family at this difficult time.

    The memory of Eileen that I choose to carry with me is her walking out on the lawn of her mom’s home on the day of her CT. wedding party. She was smiling and carrying a big wicker basket of Haagen Dazs ice cream bars. She offered me one and laughingly commented on how her father always made her mow that huge lawn! She just looked so content to be entertaining friends and celebrating her future with Keith, at a home where she was always so happy.
    Pat and Roberta DeRosa

  51. Keith-I knew Eileen in high school and have followed her blog. I am so so sorry for your loss, but I'm sure there is comfort in knowing she is at peace and feels pain no more. She was always so witty and wonderful, even back then. My thoughts are with you and your family and friends. She was an inspiration.
    Amanda Tolman

  52. Keith,

    I heard about Eileen's blog over the summer when she went into hospice. (I went to high school with Eileen). I read it with amazement for her courage and strength and of course her humor in sharing her horrific journey with us all. Wishing you and your family peace as you go through the next phase of this awful disease. Fuck Cancer...

    Chrissy Sherriff Proulx

  53. Keith,
    I only knew Eileen through this blog and through I am on the same journey as her and her courage and attitude inspires me everyday. Reading all these comments shows me what special lady she wasa

  54. I'll be honest.

    The loss of Ms. Rohmer hit me harder than when my uncle left in the summer. I wasn't sure how to react... it seemed almost surreal to think that there would no longer be that signature Rohmer chuckle and eyeroll in the halls. No more exasperated sighs while smiling when the kids in the class got too rowdy.

    But then I realized something.

    As cliche as it is, a part of Ms. Rohmer will always be in everyone's minds and hearts. Those memories and inspirations she gave us all will never leave. And that's what I'll fondly hold onto.

    Missing you,

  55. Keith,
    I'm so, so sorry to hear of your loss! My deepest sympathy to you and your extended family. You are in my thoughts, brother.

    Jake Parker

  56. I'll always remember bumping into Eileen and Keith in the middle of winter in the heart of Yosemite Valley. A total blind-luck chance meeting - I had no idea they were there. However, I knew they loved that place - especially in the snow: it was a chance to get the snow shoes out (in California) and strut their stuff.

    I know they powered their way out there in all seasons to enjoy the park. To catch the falls or enjoy a hike. It was always great to hear the stories and of how they powered their way back again to enjoy the creature comforts of home.

    As a colleague of Keith's, I previously knew Eileen as the woman behind the man.
    I knew she was one-in-a-million, because she shone through in Keith: in what he does and who he is.

    But now - having followed Eileen's story through such a diligent and heartfelt blog - I am thankful to have glimpsed so much more.
    I am privileged to remember Eileen as the teacher, the comic, the fighter. The loved-by-many.

    Eileen has made such a powerful story, through her courage, strength and brave endurance and she has touched many hearts along the way.
    It is a tragedy that Eileen is no longer with us, but perhaps now she can rest.

  57. Keith,

    There is nothing one can do or say to take away the sting of your pain. All I can say is that you've got a lot of Pixarians thinking of you, and wishing you the best.


  58. Keith I cannot imagine your pain! Please know that you,Eileen's mother,sister and family are in my prayers. My fondest memories of my time with Eileen at RHS are all of pure enjoyment. We often shared cups of tea me with my jelly donut and Eileen munching on a bag of trailmix.Of course I would get a lecture about the value of her ingredients versus mine.They say "if teacups could talk we would be in big trouble" oh would we ever! Eileen will be missed but will always be apart of my life.I have been blessed from knowing her. God Bless all of you. Mary Mooney "Moonbeam"

  59. Keef, Lisa and I were so glad to get to hang with you and Eileen during our last visit to SF. It was a peaceful, relaxing afternoon, reflective of Eileen's personality. With the exception of her head scarf, there seemed to me no indication that she felt any differently, which was very moving to us, given what she was going thru. We are glad she is at peace and wish you peace as well. Eff cancer, indeed.
    KT, Lisa, & Declan

  60. Keith, I have been thinking of Eileen all the time for the past week and sympathizing with your grief, although I cannot imagine how hard it must be. When I think of her I feel so angry, it was too soon to have her gone from our lives and there is nothing else anyone could have done to stop it. She was so courageous, in particular I remember her joking about how crazy it was to have had brain surgery after she was back in class a few weeks later! She was dedicated to her students and I felt like a poor substitute when I took over her classes, but the cool thing was that I learned so much Chemistry from her notes, it's like I took the class myself! I miss her all the time...know you are not alone.

  61. It has taken me so long to come over here and read through all of these wonderful memories because my heart hurts so badly for you Keith, for Meg, for Mommers. I remember Eileen as this shiny brunette haired young woman living in Greenwich CT on the water in her beautiful white apartment. I remember her deep laugh and how she said her sister's name. I remember her stories from classes in Ithaca. I remember her wide leg white pants. I remember the Rohmer women together one Easter that I spent with them. My first artichoke. If I could absorb the bulk of this pain for you guys I would. What a wonderful woman she continued to be - a teacher, a mentor, someone that students admired and respected. And what a dickhole cancer is. Love to you all and your families and friends. -- Kelly

  62. Ms Rohmer was my honors Chemistry class teacher in high school. I remember the first day I walked into that class, I was nervous. But soon I discovered that the honors Chemistry class turned out to be one of the most amazing classes I really enjoyed during high school. This is all because Ms Rohmer used her love, patience, and energy to teach all of her students. Every time, she would patiently answer every student's questions and made sure students have understood the concepts before she moved on. It is because of her dedicated teaching, I have built very strong foundation in science field. Still now, I appreciate very much of her teaching every time I flash back to my high school experience. It's been a couple of years since I graduated from high school. I am very shocked about what happened to Ms Rohmer. I just wished I had a chance to go back to visit her one more time... I will definitely remember Ms Rohmer, a respected teacher and a loving person.


  63. Remembering Eileen . . .
    We live close to Otis Air Force Base, and we would occasionally hear the loud boom of artillery. When Eileen was a little girl visiting with her family, the loud noise would seem to shake our house, and Eileen's grandfather would say Otis is at it again. We did not know until many years later that little Eileen thought Otis was an old man who lived in our basement!
    Ann R

  64. We were so saddened to read about Eileen. We have wonderful memories of Eileen baby sitting our 2 sons -
    I read her blog and Eileen was an amazing lady - may your memories and time with family and friends help heal. I know she is with her Dad - John - who was a wonderful man -

    Always, Carlen and Bob G

  65. The students and faculty of Piedmont, put together a great remembrance of Eileen.