Eleanor June (Simonson) Eckhardt, 85, formerly of Sturgis, went to our Lord peacefully, with family by her side, in Lisbon, Maine, on June 11, 2020.
She died as she had lived: Trusting Jesus.
Eleanor was born June 3, 1935, at her family farm in Scandinavia, Wis. She graduated from Scandinavia High School in 1953. Eleanor earned her teaching certificate from University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point in 1955, and later, her bachelor's degree from Siena Heights University in Michigan.
Throughout Eleanor and Rodger's 65-year marriage, they traveled extensively and lived abroad in countries such as Zambia, Sri Lanka, Belize and Ethiopia. During long-term assignments, Eleanor taught at the prestigious Greek school in Ethiopia, a bush school in Zambia and sang as a featured soloist with the Anglican Choir of Lusaka Zambia. She is the author of seven books, has recorded numerous praise and worship albums and was an accomplished painter. Eleanor enjoyed teaching lessons and leading worship at Bible studies held at her home. She took great joy in traveling to nursing homes to sing and fellowship with the residents.
Eleanor loved shopping at Goodwill, Salvation Army, flea markets and garage sales, looking for unique angels and cups and saucers to add to her collection. However, more often than not, her bags were filled with items for others. Her heart to give was undeniable and her generosity unstoppable.
Eleanor's gift of love and mercy was palpable. Many around the world called Eleanor "Mom." Her mother's heart brought healing and acceptance to those who were motherless or cast from their own home.
She was an award-winning soloist, composer, author, artist and teacher. She will be remembered for her love of Jesus, infectious smile, and heart to help others. Eleanor was a loving wife, mother, grandmother (Besta) and great-grandmother (Bestemor).
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Lillie Simonson; her younger sister, Louann Bucher; and her great-grandson, Malachi.
Eleanor is survived by her husband, Rodger James Eckhardt; her four children, John and wife Linda, Rebecca Eckhardt, Mathew Eckhardt and Elizabeth Humphrey and husband Nate; her grandchildren, Joshua and wife Sarah-Jo, Sarah Assefa and husband Petros, Amanda, John Mat, Vanessa, Tobias, Isabel and Justus; her great-grandchildren, Amariah, Nalani, Ziva, Hannah Joy, Asher and Seraphina; and her sister Lila Johnson of Scandinavia.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 24, at Family Christian Fellowship, 655 Augusta Road, Topsham, Maine. A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Wisconsin.
Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhomes.com
, where we encourage relatives and friends to leave memories and condolences for the family.