Eileen Kathryn Amaya (née Hartenbach), 75, of Laguna Niguel, California, passed away on February 19, 2020 after a brief and courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. Eileen, a beloved wife, devoted mother, and proud grandmother, died peacefully with her family at her side.
Eileen, Inky as she is known to her family and oldest friends, was the youngest of five children born to the late Arnold C. and Margaret M. (née Hartnett) Hartenbach on June 22, 1944 in Creve Coeur, MO. She attended St. Louis University (“SLU”) where she studied history. One 21st night of September at a SLU sponsored dance, the freshman Inky met classmate Raymundo (“Rudy”) R. Amaya. The two dated all through college and married after graduation. Inky and Rudy recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on February 15th.
After a short honeymoon and 9-month stint in Phoenix, Arizona, Inky and Rudy moved to Aruba. They started a family, jumped-up in Carnival, built a house, made life-long friends, and lived happily. In December 1974, Inky and Rudy moved back to the United States, settled in Mission Viejo, CA, and were blessed with their third child. After nearly 40 years in the family home, in December 2015, Inky and Rudy moved to Laguna Niguel to be closer to their grandchildren. The smiling faces and stories the grandkids delivered each Sunday morning, along with pastry, filled her heart and week with joy.
Eileen was a devoted homemaker who tirelessly, and often tiredly, worked to support her family and friends. She was the consummate needs fulfiller, chore delegator, advice dispenser, rule regulator, dream encourager, lunchbox packer, home harmony balancer, calendar keeper, successful gardener, compliment giver, hurt feelings comforter, grocery list maker, “for your dining pleasure” preparer, carpool driver, inquisitive interviewer, confidence builder, unwavering defender, wise battle picker, malady healer, jubilant cheerleader, selfless forgiver, considerate mentor, example setter, thoughtful counselor, judicious editor, resourceful educator, shrewd problem solver, a lovely margarita on the patio to shoot-the-breezer, confidence keeper, clever quipper, fun instigator, laugh lover, goodness seeker, family get-togethers facilitator, loving partner, sometimes the short end of the stick receiver, to her very last day, unrelenting fighter, and revered wife and mother. Just as love is patient and kind, so was Eileen. She protected. She trusted. She hoped. In our hearts, she perseveres. In our memories, she resides.
Eileen is survived by her loving husband, Rudy R. Amaya; her three adoring children: Colleen Amaya, Greg (Courtney) Amaya, and Margaret Amaya; her grandchildren, the source of tremendous joy, Maxwell and Kayla Amaya; her sisters-in-law: Leona Hartenbach, Lena Amaya, and Julie Amaya; brothers-in-law William C. Dierberg, DVM and Rosimbo Amaya; her cousins and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Arnold and Margaret Hartenbach, her sisters Sue Hartenbach, Margaret (Peggy) Ludlow, Mary Dierberg, her brother John Hartenbach, and her brother-in-law Jack Ludlow.
Eileen’s family wish to acknowledge and thank the Mission Hospital doctors, 3-West nurses, PCTs, chaplains, staff, and volunteers for their tremendous professionalism, exceptional caregiving, and generous compassion that were liberally and consistently provided to Eileen and her family the last days of her life. To family, old friends, dear friends, and even new friends who sent their love, prayers, support, and well-wishes to Eileen and her family, we thank you. You all have blessed and comforted our family with your thoughtfulness and by sharing your fond memories with us. It is the Amaya family’s sincere prayer that Inky’s warmth of spirit, sincerity of heart, enviable quickness of wit, simplicity of grace, and love of family and friends remain with you for the rest of your days.
Services: A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Kilian Church, 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, CA on Thursday, March 5th at 10:15 a.m. immediately followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org