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1922 Catherine 2021

Catherine Virginia Eckhardt

November 13, 1922 — February 12, 2021

Catherine Virginia Eckhardt, A Treasured mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died peacefully in hospice care at Heritage Community’s Amber Place on February 12, 2021 at age 98. Catherine (Kate) was an original who loved life and enjoyed people. Creative, determined and perceptive, her loyalty, grit, sense of fun and love of family and friends carried her through the depression years and life’s good or difficult times. She was the first in her family to graduate from college. A lover of music, singing, poetry, creative writing, and travel, Kate was always willing to try something new. She learned to drive at age 26, was an organic gardener in the 1950s, and learned to scuba dive in her 60s. In her 90s she began to create small animal and bird sculptures, remarking she wished she’d known she was an artist earlier in life. The family is grateful for the great care and many friendships she made at Heritage Community over the last 10 years. Catherine was born November 13, 1922 in Paw Paw, the daughter of Peter and Evelyn (Day) Moran. She earned BS and MA degrees from Western Michigan University and taught elementary and special education for more than 20 years. On October 23, 1948 in Grand Rapids Kate was united in marriage to Robert Eckhardt who preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death was her half-brother, Merrill Wragg. Surviving are five children, Susan Eckhardt, Elizabeth (Joseph D’Ambrosio) Eckhardt, Mary Eckhardt, R. Thomas (Alina Echavarri) Eckhardt, Jr., John Eckhardt; three grandchildren, Eric (Keiko) Ishii Eckhardt, Katie (Darrin) Bamm, Macon Eckhardt; one great-grandson, Noah Bamm; several nieces & nephews. A private family memorial service will be held at Redmond Funeral Home, Kalamazoo. The family will host a celebration of life at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Community Foundation or Hospice of Southwest Michigan.
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Monday, March 1, 2021

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