Mary Louise Eck, 93, went to see the Lord on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. She passed away due to complications brought on by COVID-19.
Born to the Reverend Jacob E. Dale and Mary A. Dale on June 20, 1927 in Wheeling, WV, she experienced a long life of service to her family, her church and her beloved community of Kearny. Mary Louise and husband Bob (who preceded her in death in 1995) operated Bob’s Drive-In from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s where their children learned the valuable lesson of work ethic. After retiring from the Drive-In, Mary Louise never slowed down. She returned to university to complete what she started in her younger years and achieved a degree in Early Childhood Development. Soon after, she received the position of Town Librarian. As an avid reader, she loved to work with young people to promote the idea of “reading is fundamental” to success in learning. She especially enjoyed the children and the Story Hour for the young ones just learning how to read. Other interests included babysitting many of the local kids who, by now, have grandkids of their own. She also proofread for the Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner for several years.
Mary Louise believed that service to community was important and served in many organizations, including being a member of the Board of ARC, a member of P.E.O., the Board of the Copper Basin Community Health Care Foundation, the Library Board and Friends of the Library, and was named Kearny Citizen of the Year a few years back. Mary Louise was a member of a team of dedicated, concerned citizens that believed that maintaining health services in this area was essential. As a means of supporting the clinic, the team started the Hand-Me-Up Shop whose volunteers continue to serve the community today.
Being a daughter of a Lutheran minister, Mary Louise was deeply rooted in her faith. Along with a couple of other believers, they were instrumental in starting a mission Lutheran Church that met in the former Episcopal Church which eventually became the Hosler’s home. After several years the congregational members dwindled and services were closed, so she found a new church home at the Church of the Good Shepherd (Methodist) where she was a member of the Leadership Team, sang in the choir and participated fully in all events and many Bible studies.
Mary Louise is survived by her four children, Richard (Linda) of Tyler, Texas, Cynthia Parker (Neil) of Chandler, George (Julie) of Mesa and Robert “R.E.” of Apache Junction. She was blessed with 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, all of whom, along with many other relatives and friends, will miss her, but realize she’s now where she wanted to be.
Sam Hosler summarized Mary Louise’s life best in an article he wrote about her in 2014 when he quoted Jesus. Jesus said, “I came not to be served, but to serve.”
No immediate services are planned at present due to COVID-19, but a “Celebration of Life” service is planned after the pandemic has subsided.
Any that feel compelled to remember Mary Louise through gifting, please consider donating to the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Methodist Church of Kearny.