Mary Eileen Reid Swanson

Mary Eileen Reid Swanson, passed away peacefully at the age of 89, beloved wife of the late Jack Gray Swanson and Paul O’Flaherty; loving mother of Donna Lee (Kerry) Krueger and Pete Reid (Susan) Swanson; cherished grandmother of Jessica (Jonathon) Weber, Justin Michael (Tricia) Krueger and Savanna, Annika and Cambria Swanson and great-grandmother of Luke and Landon Weber and Claire and Michael Krueger; dear sister of Cathy Reid Kobe and the late Tom and Dan Reid, Carol McCourt and Margaret Stevens; devoted daughter of the late Bertha M., nee Krueger and the late Daniel J. Reid; fond aunt, Godmother and friend to many. Mary Eileen has a smile and a gentle way about her that lit up a room and captured your attention. She will be missed by all who knew her. Mary Eileen was a graduate of Mercy High School and went on to receive her two year secretarial degree from DePaul University. Upon graduation, she joined People’s Gas, working in Chicago and had in her words, an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career working with wonderful, talented people while enjoying the hustle and bustle of her beloved downtown Chicago. In 1956 Mary Eileen married Jack Gray Swanson from River Forest and the two would start their family in Elmhurst. Mary Eileen was the niece of fellow noted Chicagoan, John E. Reid, founder of the interrogation techniques used with the polygraph and for gaining criminal confessions, known as the Reid Technique of Interviewing and Interrogation. “Mitzy”, or “Mrs. Mouse” as Mary Eileen was known, would join her uncle at John E. Reid & Associates in the late 60’s. In the early 70’s, the business was expanded with the idea of taking questions from the interrogation technique and putting them into a paper and pencil report that could be used for screening job applicants to determine their integrity and likelihood of being a good employee. This idea launched an industry and the most widely used integrity employment assessment in the world, The Reid Report. In 1979, with the success of the Reid Report and the advent of changing federal law and the legality of using the polygraph for employee hiring, John E. Reid & Associates created a newly formed company that Mary Eileen and her brother Dan would head up called Reid Psychological Systems. Mary Eileen and Dan ran the company until the late 80’s, when they turned over daily management responsibilities and she assumed the role of Vice Chairman and Dan assumed the role of Chairman. In 2001, three decades after starting a new industry and catapulting Reid Psychological Systems and the Reid Report into the industry leader, the company was sold to international publishing and educational firm Pearson. Mary Eileen was a devoted Christian and member of Immaculate Conception Church in Elmhurst.  There she served as Minister of care to the hospitalized and homebound, member of the Christian service commission, mentor to homeless families through the I.C. daybreak of Elmhurst transitional housing, Eucharistic minister at Mass and hospitality volunteer.  In the early 90’s, she used her gifts of love, compassion and grace in becoming a bereavement minister and for the next decade would help countless numbers of families during their time of loss of a loved one. In 2005, Mary Eileen’s talent and love for the church were recognized with the coveted award of Catholic Woman of the Year, an honor she wore with pride. Mary Eileen moved to Villa St. Benedict in Lisle in 2005. She would not only find comfort in assisted living, but she would find a new love interest and married Paul O‘Flaherty in January 2007. The two would be married until Paul passed away in 2010.  Mary Eileen moved to Tabor Hills in Naperville in January of 2011. Tabor Hills was a home of  love and comfort for Mary Eileen as they treated her like family. Even in her final years, her ability to make anyone feel like they were the most important person in the world still showed through in every interaction she had with people. The imprint Mary Eileen left on the people of this world is indelible. She was an angel on earth and her spirit will be missed, but we now know we all have our own guardian angel. Funeral services and Interment are Private at this time. A Public Memorial is being planned for May 15, 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her favorite charity, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls of Chicago, 1140 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607. Arrangements handled by Gibbons Funeral Home, Elmhurst. 630-832-0018.

Memorial Service Program






In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to her favorite charity,

Mercy Home for Boys and Girls of Chicago, 1140 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60607.

23 comments on “Mary Eileen Reid Swanson
  1. John Pezza says:

    Mrs Swanson was one of my first landscape customers and a long time one at that! We would have many conversations about life that I still remember to this day? I leave her family my condolences she was a great lady! John Pezza JP,s Landscaping.

    • Donna Swanson Krueger says:

      I can only imagine the stories you could share! Everyone that helped mom at home became family and you were top of that list! Thank you for the great care you provided all those years. Oh and thanks for the landscaping too!

  2. Geri Meuschke says:

    This beautiful woman brought so much joy to the world around her! Her smile would light up a room. Her loving demeanor was to be admired by all. Her acts of kindness shown brightly! With every beat of her heart love was given. May the memories of Mary Eileen bring great comfort and peace to every family member and to her many friends. We always looked forward to her visits in Georgia. We both give thanks for her loving us. We love you Mary Eileen! ❤️ Coach & Geri Meuschke

  3. Mary Koronkowski says:

    Our sincere condolences to all the family. Mary Eileen was a legend of warmth and grace, even across the miles to Marietta, GA. Donna shared beautiful stories of her loving mother easily and often. I spoke with Mary Eileen once by phone, and it was if we were old friends all along. May the memories you carry of her life be a balm to those she loved as you celebrate a life well-lived. Hugs and prayers from Mary & Allen Koronkowski

    • Donna Krueger says:

      I can remember you telling me about your conversation. That was special. Thank you Mary for your beautiful sentiments

  4. Terese Klinger says:

    Donna and Pete, so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. She was an extraordinary woman and an angel in disguise to me during some rough times. I enjoyed our visits and she spoke of you and how proud she was of you often. She will be missed and I hope she will continue to be my angel from above. RIP Mrs 111!

  5. Terese Klinger says:

    Donna and Pete: So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. She was an extraordinary woman and an angel in disguise to me during some rough times. I enjoyed our visits and she spoke of you two often with so much pride. She will be missed and I hope she will continue to be my angel from above! RIP Mrs 111…

  6. Joanne Ciaccio says:

    Donna I am so sorry for your loss I worked for Reid Psychological Systems from 1974-1989. Your mom was the most pleasant, caring and like a 2nd mom to me. We had many talks many lunches and dinners together. I loved the entire Reid Family they always made you feel like
    family. Your uncle Dan always called me “sister Cinderella” I loved them both. You had a wonderful mom who always talked about you and Peter I’m really sorry for your loss
    Joanne Ciaccio- used to be McGowan

  7. Fr. Gerald Riva says:

    Donna and Pete Fr. Balluff sharred with me the news of Mary Eileen’s passing. I have so many wonderful memories of our time together at I.C. in Elmhurst and her lovely home.
    I’ll never forget that we almost lost her at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls in Rome. But I found her in the gift shop buying gifts for all of you and especially her brother Dan. Please know that
    I will always have deep in my heart. She is in my prayers and Masses as well are all of you in her family. God Bless
    Father Gerald Riva

  8. donna krueger says:

    Joanne!!! I was struggling with the Ciaccio and then smiled ear to ear! Of course you were such a big part of their Reid family! I remember your fun spirit so well! It was like Camelot back then right?
    Thank you for your kind words.

  9. Madeline Mignano-Borkin says:

    I am so sorry Donna, Kerry, Pete, Susan and all the kids. Mary Eileen was one of my all time favorite people. Conversations were always so amazingly beautiful. I always felt like i was in the presence of an angel. I am grateful and blessed to have known and adored her. Hugs, hearts and prayers! Love Madeline Mignano Borkin

    • donna krueger says:

      Thank you for sharing Madeline! She loved you as well. She was set apart for great work here on this side of heaven! Always so fun hearing from you!

  10. When our family of four transplanted from NYC to Elmhurst in January 1973, it didn’t take long for an elfin woman, with eyes and smile twice as bright as the afternoon sun glinting off the piles of snow, to proceed down our drive-way, almost singing her greeting: “Hi, New Neighbor, I’m Mary Eileen, and I’ve come to welcome you to Stratford Avenue.” My answer, “Hi, Mary Eileen. Thanks for the welcome; I’m Eileen Mary.” That was the first of many commonalities we’d find over the ensuing 29 years. From our son Tom’s camaraderie with Peter, to our shared parish of I.C., whenever plan or chance brought us together, the joy was complete. Watching the video brought many delights, from weddings to unending smiles, all overflowing with love for life. Among them son Tom and husband Tom, who finished his journey of life just eight months ago, and insisted that HOW GREAT THOU ART had to mark his funeral, just as it brings its sense of Majesty to the video. And there are pictures of Tom and Mary Eileen, probably at Peter’s wedding. It seemed to be the affinity of those bright blue eyes that brought their paths together. While we are still sheltering on earth, heaven must be alive with celebration. “A perfect woman, nobly planned, to warn, to comfort, and command” has left with us the challenge of her affirmation and love. We have been gifted.

  11. donna krueger says:

    Mrs Ward these are such wonderful memories. I think you say it best in summary of knowing Mom, a gift! She truly is. Thank you for sharing. I so enjoy being in touch with Tommy. He is such a gentleman and always remembers special occasions. Know you are a proud Momma always! With love, dk

  12. Marnie Ramker says:

    We are so sorry for your loss, Donna, Peter, and all the Swenson and O’Flaherty families. Uncle Paul and Mary Eileen welcomed us into their home at Villa St. Benedict with joy, warmth, and grace, and we believe that she in turn is welcomed warmly and joyfully in heaven. May her soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed Rest In Peace.
    Marnie Ramker/Faiek Mahmud

  13. John Feely says:

    Mary Eileen was a gift from God. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth, & the Life, and Mary Eileen was dedicated to the truth with Reid & Associates. I found her to be a joyous, holy, & loving person. She continually was helping those in need with a smile on her face. She was sharp as a tack with a great wit. She was an inspiration to me & to so many others. She was also a gift to the Church and she was an inspiration to me & so many others & kept our spirits high. It was a blessing to have known her.

  14. donna krueger says:

    What beautiful comments on the exact gift Mom was to all who knew her. I always felt like our Mom was set apart for His good works and to be Jesus to all she knew. I’m glad you knew her.

  15. Ellen Kane Munro says:

    I knew Mary Eileen from the early Reid years with uncle John. She was always upbeat and exuded warmth and joy. The world sorely needs her spirit of kindness and caring. She will be missed.

  16. Kathryn Kane says:

    I was a young kid when we kids on the Margaret McCarthy Reid side used to visit John’s office and mingle with the Reid clan at parties. She was always outgoing, friendly, and kind, much appreciated and welcome when I felt overwhelmed by large groups of people I didn’t know. I have warm memories of her kindness and positive vibe. I’m sorry I didn’t get to spend more time with her. I miss Dan as well. My condolences to her family for your loss.

  17. Molly (Butler) Galvin says:

    Dear Donna and Pete – I’m so sorry for the loss of your beloved mom. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a smile on her face. I echo Therese Klinger’s comments “she was an angel in disguise to me during a rough time”. In 1998, with my dad Fran Butler as my negotiator, your beloved mom sold me her 1990 gray Volvo wagon! It had 110,000 miles at purchase time and it served me and my sons well into 2006, when I retired it with 185,000 miles. Your mom was well respected in the IC / Elmhurst community. May she rest in peace.

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