Shrewsbury – Eileen Rose “Ike” (Villatico) Grosse, 64, a longtime Shrewsbury resident and business owner of Ike’s Den, died peacefully Saturday May 2, 2015, surrounded by her loving family, in the UMass Medical Center.
She leaves behind her loving husband of 24 years, Henry G. Grosse; her pride and joy, one daughter, Ayla R. Grosse; three sisters, Paula F. Brophy and her husband Richard of Grafton, Mary Ann Boisvert, and Judy Antonucci and her husband Steven, all of Worcester; and two brothers, Arnold A. Villatico Jr. and his wife Gina of Webster and Robert J. Villatico and his wife Sherry of Worcester. She was predeceased by her daughter, Ariana. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Eileen was born in Worcester, the daughter of the late Arnold and Anna (Giorgio) Villatico. She attended Rivier College and in 1973, at the young age of 23, she opened her beloved Ike’s Den, an iconic clothing boutique located in Shrewsbury. Making people feel special in what they purchased from her store was a true passion and she treated every customer as if they were a dear friend.
Eileen was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church and found comfort in her spirituality and deep-rooted faith in God. She was the first one to say, “God is Good,” no matter what that the situation. She was passionate about the community and was honored to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Columbus Day Parade in 2006. She was an active volunteer for Hope Lodge, and Pernet Family Health Services, hosting annual fashion shows on their behalf for the past 30 years. She was instrumental in forming the Angel of Hope Memorial in Sturbridge. She was an all-around amazing and selfless person and her generosity and kindness were able to touch an endless amount of people.
Fighting multiple grueling battles with cancer since 1991, she taught everyone around her the importance of family, faith, perseverance, and strength. Eileen learned to go to her doctor’s appointments to live – not live to go to her doctor’s appointments. Above all, she will be remembered as the most loving wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend whose beautiful soul will be missed deeply.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family Tuesday, May 5, from 4-8 p.m., at Mercadante Funeral Home, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. Her funeral will be held Wednesday, May 6 from the funeral home, with a Mass at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 24 Mulberry St. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery in Shrewsbury.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pernet Family Health Services, Hope Lodge, or Our Lady of Mount Carmel Renovation Fund.
The Grosse family would like to thank Dr. Robert Quinlan, Dr. Kathryn Edmiston, Dr. Mary Ellen Moynihan, and all of the staff in the UMass Oncology department for their caring and loving support over the past 23 years.