Eleanor Cain, former Director of the Division of Services for Aging and Physical Disabilities, from 1973 to 2001 and who was appointed to her position by four Governors, passed away at her home on Monday April 8, 2019 at the age of 85.
A native Delawarean, she was the daughter of the late W. Charles Paradee and Eleanor Simpson Paradee. She was a graduate of Dover High School and Centenary College in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Under her leadership with the State of Delaware, she developed many programs to help older people and adults with disabilities live independently with dignity. She was a pioneer in the field of aging. She served on many local and national boards and committees. She was a former president of the National Association of State Units on Aging headquartered in Washington D.C which represented all 50 states. The Association presented to her two prestigious awards: The Louise Gerrard Award for outstanding accomplishments in rural America and the Gerald Bledow award for the outstanding state director in the 90s. Both awards were voted on by her peers.
She was appointed by President Reagan to represent the 50 states on aging to the World Assembly on Aging in 1982 in Vienna, Austria. She was inducted into the Delaware Womens Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1995, she won the Delaware Association for Public Administration Award for outstanding public service in the State of Delaware.
Ms. Cain was a member of the Junior League of Wilmington and the Salvation Army Regional Advisory Board where she was the first woman to chair the board. The Salvation Army presented her with three awards including the William Booth Award and the OTHER award given to those who always put others before themselves. In 2015, she was granted a certificate of Membership Emeritus.
In 1990 she was a consultant for the United States State Department traveling to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus assisting these countries in the development of legislation and programs for the elderly. She was one of the founders of Meals-on-Wheels Delaware and served on the board of directors for many years.
Following her retirement from the State in 2001, she formed a consulting firm which allowed her to continue assisting aging agencies in both Delaware and across the country to further expand and build programs to help their elderly populations. Throughout, she maintained her national stature as a pioneer in the field of aging. During her retirement she had a wonderful time traveling with family and friends and spending time with her grandchildren. She enjoyed her friendships which included many from her childhood years in Dover, her years at the State and her neighbors who supported her during her last years of illness.
She is survived by her brother W. Charles Paradee, Jr. (Linda) of Smyrna, Delaware and two daughters Eleanor Randolph Albright (Clayton Monroe, III) of Wilmington, Delaware and Elizabeth Durham Chiedi (Anthony) of College Park, Maryland and four grandchildren: Alexandra Paradee Albright Barlow (Christopher), Clayton Randolph Albright, Michael Anthony Chiedi, and Christopher William Chiedi. She is also survived by two nephews and one niece: John Wilson Paradee (Linda), Jaqueline Paradee Mette (Luke), and W. Charles Paradee, III. And five great nephews and one great niece.
Services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church 1108 N. Adams Street Wilmington, Delaware at 11:00AM on Friday April 12, 2019. Burial will be private. The family will greet friends at a reception in the church hall immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions in honor of Eleanor Cain to Meals-on-Wheels Delaware, 100 West 19th Street, Suite 207, Wilmington, DE 19801 or The Salvation Army Programs, 400 N. Orange Street, Wilmington, DE 19801