Obituary: Eileen Patricia Pilla (1931-2023)

Eileen Patricia Pilla, former Mayor of Tarrytown, passed away peacefully at Cabrini of Westchester on Monday, December 18, 2023.

Born on December 28, 1931 to Patrick and Molly Downing in Tarrytown, NY, Eileen attended Good Counsel Academy in White Plains, where she was active in a number of school activities.  She was later proud to be inducted into the Good Counsel Academy Wall of Fame.

Upon graduation, Eileen attended the Washington School of Business and became a business representative for the New York Telephone Company.  Eileen later utilized her business education as the Office Manager of her husband, Pat’s CPA firm for over 25 years.

Eileen married “the love of her life”, Patrick Pilla on October 17, 1953 and following Pat’s military service, they settled in Tarrytown and began a life of service to the community they loved.  On November 7, 1960 they welcomed their son, Matthew into their family.

Eileen was predeceased by her husband Pat, their son, Matthew and her brother, Jack (John Francis).

Eileen proudly served for four years as Tarrytown Village Trustee (1984-1987) and as the first female Mayor of Tarrytown for twelve years (1987-1999).

Always passionate about community service in her beloved hometown of Tarrytown, Eileen served on the Advisory Board of the Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center as well as the Board of Directors of the Tarrytown YMCA.  She was president of “Tarrytowners and Proud of It” and the Transfiguration Church Senior Group.  The Scenic Hudson River Committee, Tarrytown Historical Society, Phelps Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and Exchange Club of the Tarrytowns, among many other organizations, also benefitted from Eileen’s never-ending volunteerism.

In her parish of Transfiguration, Eileen served on the Parish Council, was a liturgical lector as well as member of the Transfiguration Women’s Club.

Following her retirement as mayor, Eileen was appointed Vice-chairperson of the County of Westchester Planning Board, the Ossining Environmental Review Council and the Eagle Bay Board of Directors.

Eileen was most proud of “Pilla Landing”, the Tarrytown Hudson River Park; not because it was named after her and her husband, but because the redevelopment of the Tarrytown waterfront was her priority as she served as trustee and mayor.  That vision has now become a successful reality.

Aside from Eileen’s political and community accomplishments, it was her time with her family that she shined her brightest.  Whether it was sharing Sunday breakfast, attending a school play or sporting event, teaching all how to make meatballs or her famous “make-ahead mashed potatoes”, she was the epitome of class, fun and warmth.  Eileen considered the Nee and Herighty children as her own grandchildren.  Hopefully, they will inherit her grace and kindness.

A beloved matriarch of her family, Eileen’s greatest attribute was the quiet, confident, caring way she carried herself; always such a great role-model especially to the women and girls in her family and circle of friends.

The family would like to thank the staff at Cabrini of Westchester and Calvary Hospice for their excellent care.  In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Eileen with a donation to Calvary Hospice or taking a walk to “Pilla Landing” and saying a prayer of thanks to Eileen for all she did for the community of Tarrytown.

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