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Margaret Decker Eberhardt


1941 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Margaret Decker Eberhardt Obituary
May 8, 1941 - October 24, 2017 Margaret (Margy) Decker Eberhardt, 76, passed away peacefully at her Montecito home on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. She was surrounded by her husband and her three daughters after a long and dignified battle with Alzheimer's disease. The youngest of four children, Mrs. Eberhardt was born in Gurnee, Illinois, on May 8, 1941 to Dr. Alfred Decker and Marian (Bellows). Mrs. Eberhardt graduated from Warren Township High School in 1959 and was Homecoming Queen that year. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana in 1963. It is at college where she met her husband of 54 years and best friend, Jerry Eberhardt. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Mr. Eberhardt a member of Phi Gamma Delta. The young couple had many adventures - attending football games, getting pinned, going to "Fiji Island" parties and were eventually engaged in a phone booth on a snowy winter's night. The Eberhardts were married on August 10, 1963 in Waukegan, IL, and a reception was held in the gardens of the bride's mother's home. The Eberhardts moved to Cincinnati, OH, in 1963, where Mr. Eberhardt worked at Procter & Gamble and Mrs. Eberhardt taught elementary school. During Vietnam Mr. Eberhardt served in the Navy, and in 1966 the couple moved to Yokosuka, Japan where Mr. Eberhardt was Officer in Charge of the US Navy Finance Office. Mrs. Eberhardt taught 4th Grade on the Naval Base until the birth of their first daughter, Elizabeth, in 1969. The Eberhardts loved their time in Japan and would return there with their three daughters in 1985. The Eberhardts moved back to the US and lived in New York while Mr. Eberhardt attended a training program with Smith Barney. In 1970, the Eberhardts moved to Evanston, IL, and then settled in Winnetka in 1973 where they would spend the next 26 years and welcome two more daughters, Martha and Ellen (Nell). In Chicago, Mrs. Eberhardt served on the Women's Board of the Ravinia Festival Association, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Field Museum, and Northwestern University. She was also an active member of the Junior League of Chicago. From 1989 until 2015, the Eberhardts enjoyed a second home in Snowmass, Colorado, where they made wonderful family memories and hosted three weddings. They were members of the Society of Fellows of the Aspen Institute and loved attending the IDEAS Festival in the summers. The Eberhardts were also supporters of the Aspen Music Festival. The Eberhardts moved to Los Angeles in 1997 with their youngest daughter Ellen and embraced their new lives on the West Coast. While in Los Angeles, Mrs. Eberhardt served as a Trustee of the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and was a board member of The Blue Ribbon Committee. She was also a member of the Art Museum Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. From 2005-2008, Mr. Eberhardt served as the Chairman of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Board and continues to serve as the Vice Chair. The Eberhardts enjoyed many Patron Tours around the world with the LA Phil and Mrs. Eberhardt was known as "an elegant First Lady." In 2010, the Eberhardts retired to Montecito, CA, where they are patrons of the Music Academy of the West and the Ojai Music Festival. They enjoyed travel, walks on Butterfly Beach, concerts, family holidays, visits with their much-loved grandchildren and watching beautiful Santa Barbara sunsets. Mrs. Eberhardt is survived by her loving husband and caregiver, Jerrold Eberhardt, and her children: Elizabeth Thorp (Almus) of Bethesda, MD, Martha Wittenberg (Andrew) of Long Beach, CA, and Ellen Mathews (Sean) of Brooklyn, NY, her brothers Thomas Decker (Sylvia) of Chicago, IL, and David Decker of Longboat Key, FL, and six grandchildren: Isabelle, Lucy, Penelope, Jack, Gabby and newborn Henry, who all adored their "Mimi." She was predeceased by her parents, her sister Martha Wolz and her sister-in-law Mary Louise Decker. Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date in Los Angeles and Chicago. Contributions may be made in her memory to the at: http://act.alz.org/goto/Margy_Eberhardt.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Oct. 28 to Oct. 29, 2017
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