She was born May 30, 1923 in Worcester, the oldest child of eight to the late William and Ella (End) McNamara. She was raised in Berlin and graduated from Hudson High School. She married James E. Rand on June 29, 1946, and had been a Shrewsbury resident since 1956.
Her father owned and operated a diner in Leominster where she worked as a short order cook. Her family recalls that it was here that she learned how to cook everything on the only heat she knew “high.” Her signature recipe was mayonnaise chocolate cake, which was a sought-after dessert in her household.
While raising nine children and helping with the office at her husband's well-known service station, Wilson & Rand on Maple Avenue, she became the first female bus driver for Weagle Bus Company for over 20 years. She was the matriarch of the McNamara family and her own. She managed so many different things because she only had one speed and that was fast. She and Jim enjoyed their cottage in Biddeford, Maine, and taking their grandchildren to the beach. She spent winters in St. Petersburg and Port St. Lucie in Florida.
Her husband, Jim died June 6, 1980. She was predeceased by her daughters, Cheri LePan in 1998 and Cathy Bradshaw in 2004; her daughter-in-law, Sharon Rand; her brothers, Charles and William McNamara; and her sister, Eileen Firestone.
She leaves her children, William J. “Butch” Rand of Shrewsbury; Richard P. Rand and his wife, Dawn, of Northborough; Carol A. Gelinas and her husband, Al, of Spencer; Karen Rand Pozzi of Shrewsbury; Cynthia A. Henderson and her husband, Brian of Shrewsbury; Candy Rand Snyder of New Market, New Hampshire and her partner David Lagace; Kay E. DeWolfe and her husband, George, of Millbury; and her siblings, Edward McNamara and his wife, Freda of California, Ann LaMarche of Florida, Jack McNamara and his wife, Diane, of Texas, Patricia Donoghue of South Carolina; her 20 grandchildren, Kristen Hennessey and her husband, Andrew; Brett Rand; James Gelinas and his wife, Kendra; Kenneth Gelinas; Joseph Gelinas and his wife, Meghan; Derek DiVerdi and his wife, Debra; Denny King; Stacey Scarbrough and her husband, Philip; Kristin Whisenant and her husband, Michael; Buddy Lee Bradshaw; Melanie St. Pierre and her husband, Joel; Daniel Henderson; Meghan Henderson; Nathan Rand; Nicholas Snyder; Heather Snyder; Rachel LaPan-Viens and her husband, Mark; Arthur LaPan; Kimberly DeWolfe; David DeWolfe; 21 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor and remember Eleanor's life by gathering for calling hours Tuesday, April 30, from 5 to 8 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center, and again Wednesday, May 1, at 9 a.m., before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury, where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery of Shrewsbury.
Honor Eleanor's memory with a contribution to Shrewsbury Youth & Family Services, 240 Maple Ave., Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or to One Fund Boston, Inc., 800 Boylston St. #990009, Boston, MA 02199.