Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Eckman
Mary Elizabeth (Bette) Eckman passed away in her sleep on September 3, 2015, in Sacramento, California. Despite numerous childhood illnesses which kept her from attending school until the age of seven, she lived to the ripe old age of 91. Mary was born March 5, 1924 to John Q. and Madeline E. (Wankel) Baer in Utica, New York. She grew up in the Oriskany/Utica, NY area with her parents and brother, John Q (Jack) Baer Jr. She graduated, Salutatorian, from St. Frances de Sales High School in June 1942. She was Vice-President of the Senior class and very active in high school clubs and organizations. After graduation, she attended the Utica School of Commerce where she received her Stenographer’s Certificate in June, 1943. She met Harold Alfred Marceau prior to World War II and they married in Utica in 1947. During the summer of 1948, they and their first child, Leonard, moved to the Los Angeles area. The next two years brought two more children, Richard and Marilee. Mom and Dad were happily married for 43 years until his death in July, 1990. They lived in Van Nuys until they moved to the Sacramento area in 1967. They lived in Grass Valley from 1980 until she moved back to the Sacramento area in 2007. Mom’s principle occupation was a homemaker, which she excelled at from the late-40’s through the early-60’s. Bette, as she was known to family and friends, also worked as a secretary for various private companies. She finished her working career as an account technician for California State Parks.
She loved to read, travel, camp and attend educational Elder Hostels. Among her favorite camping areas were the Angeles National Forest, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks and on their property north of Truckee. Mom travelled internationally numerous times to Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Spain and Morocco. Mary also made several trips to Canada and numerous tours of the United States. Mom was lucky enough to find love again and married James Rossiter Eckman in Rough and Ready, CA in September, 1994. They were happily married for 3 years until Jim’s death in September, 1997.
After the passing of each husband, Bette joined a few clubs associated with widows and
widowers in Grass Valley and Roseville areas.
She is survived by sons Len (Robin) of Kingman, AZ; Rick (Megan) of Ferndale, WA; and daughter Marilee Marceau of Sacramento; grandchildren Guillaume Marceau and Kashmere Marceau; and great-grandchild Autumn Marceau, all of Washington state; and hundreds of distant relatives (thanks to the family Catholic upbringing and the genealogic research done by Marilee, and her friend Barbara Cox). She was preceded in death by her husbands and everyone from her generation.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to Barbara Cox of Sacramento, who was a good friend and was there to assist in Mom’s care during the last few years. The family also thanks everyone at Regency Place Assisted Living in Sacramento, where she was so well cared for, and Vitas Health Care for providing hospice care. Per Bette’s request, there will be no public services. There will be a private family celebration of her life.
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