Eileen Brell Cavaliere, 90, a World War II veteran, camp director, artist, and sales representative, died of complications of anemia Dec. 8 at Dock Woods Community in Lansdale.
Mrs. Cavaliere grew up in South Philadelphia and graduated from the Academy of Notre Dame on Rittenhouse Square. She earned a bachelor's degree from Rosemont College in 1941.
The next year, she and a classmate, Dorothy Echenrode, enlisted in the newly established Navy Waves (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
The two lieutenants were stationed at the Mechanicsburg (Pa.) Naval Depot. As communications experts, they coded and decoded messages about supply shipments to the Atlantic and Pacific fleets.
The messages revealed which carriers, battleships, and transports were in need of repair and maintenance, and requested parts. Mrs. Cavaliere told her family that the messages were top secret, because if the enemy knew what parts were needed, it could decipher how many and what ships were out of service.
It was a 24/7 operation, and black coffee was her constant companion, said Mrs. Cavaliere's daughter, Ellin Hlebik.
When her superiors discovered that she had been an art major in college, Mrs. Cavaliere was also given the task of decorating the officers club for parties, dinners, and social events.
After her discharge, she met her future husband, Romeo A. Cavaliere, when she applied for a job at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Rehabilitation in Philadelphia, where he was employed. They married in 1948 and raised twins - a daughter and a son - and another son in Lower Merion. In 1954, she founded a local chapter of the Mothers of Twins Club.
While her children were growing up, she was an interior-design consultant and substitute art teacher in the Lower Merion School District.
In the 1930s, Mrs. Cavaliere had been a camper and eventually head counselor at Camp Tegawitha in the Poconos. In 1960, she returned to the Poconos, and for 11 years was director of Camp in the Clouds, a day camp for the children of guests at Skytop Lodge.
"Part of her compensation was a furnished house for her family, with linens and maid service for us to use all summer," her daughter said. Mrs. Cavaliere's husband joined the family on weekends.
Mrs. Cavaliere pursued various art media, including pottery, decoupage, watercolor, and oils, and took lessons at the Wayne Art Center and the Narberth Art League. For 10 years, until she was 80, she was a sales representative and designer for We Love Country, which produced custom-made quilts and coverlets for institutions and special events.
She enjoyed travel, and visited Ireland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.
Mrs. Cavaliere kept in touch with her classmates from Notre Dame and Rosemont, and for 50 years met for a reunion lunch with her Navy friends.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by sons Lawrence and Richard, and a granddaughter. Her husband died in 1998.
A Funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Saturday at Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, 196 N. Trooper Rd., Norristown, where friends may call after 10.
Memorial donations may be made to the Rosemont College Development Office, 1400 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pa. 19010.