Elvera “Vera” Matilda (Gade) Eckert, 95, passed away at St. Luke Lutheran Home in Spencer, IA on September 22, 2023.
Vera, the daughter of Ernest and Alma (Wichtendahl) Gade, was born in West Bend, IA on September 16, 1928. She had six siblings: Leonard, Hulda, Armin, Elaine, Alice, and Donald. According to Vera, her parents were strict about “our religious upbringing and getting along with our siblings. We were taught to have respect for our parents and elders.” Her family eventually moved to Emmetsburg, IA, and Vera graduated from Emmetsburg Community School in 1946.
Vera married Harvey “Bob” Eckert at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg, IA on January 4, 1948. Bob pitched for the Grand Forks Chiefs, a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees, in Grand Forks, ND, but the couple decided to return to Iowa to farm and raise a family. They had a son, Larry Dean Eckert, born on December 15, 1948, and a daughter, Janice “Janny” Jeanne Eckert, born on November 5, 1952. The Eckerts lived on a farm outside of Mallard, IA for many years. After Larry and Janny had both graduated from high school, Vera worked for 17 years as a bookkeeper for the Emmetsburg School Superintendent’s Office. There was some concern that Bob would not survive without Vera at home, but thankfully, said Vera, “We taught him to use the can-opener.” In 1987, they retired to Spencer, IA, and often spent winters in Mesa, AZ. Bob passed away on September 11, 2008. Bob and Vera enjoyed 60 years of marriage.
Vera had many interests, but her deepest values, according to her, were “faith in Jesus as my Savior, and my love of family and friends.” She was active in her faith – she attended bible study, sang in the church choir, and was a member of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League. She liked to read and do crossword puzzles, and she had a great appreciation for art and music. She was an excellent card player, too; Bridge was her game of choice. Vera loved sports, and she and Bob were both big Iowa Hawkeyes fans. But baseball was her favorite sport, just like Bob, and she faithfully followed her beloved Chicago Cubs. Vera also enjoyed her time with friends and neighbors at The Highlands in Spencer.
Vera is survived by her son, Larry Eckert of Phoenix, AZ; her daughter, Janice and her husband, Myron Kolander of Omaha, NE; three grandchildren: Kyle (Danielle) Kolander, Kari (Eric) McCrady, and Kenny (Eliza) Kolander; six great grandchildren (Luke, Elaine, Isaiah, Will, Olivia, and Finn); a sister, Alice Reinders; many nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.
*In lieu of flowers or money, please make a donation to help fight either Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.