Mary Elizabeth Eckhoff, 86, of Stover, died Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at the Golden Age Living Center in Stover following a brief illness.
She was born Sept. 18, 1930, in Stover, a daughter of Emil John and Elda Anna Louise Backs Brauer.
She was baptized Oct. 5, 1930 and confirmed April 2, 1944 at Christ Lutheran Church in Stover.
She attended High Prairie grade school and was a 1947 graduate of Stover High School. She attended Central Missouri State Teachers College, receiving her teaching certificate. She taught at a rural Cole Camp school.
She married Marvin C. Eckhoff Sept. 21, 1957, at Christ Lutheran Church in Stover. He preceded her in death June 23, 2015.
As a young woman, she worked at Montgomery Ward in Kansas City before returning to Stover where her cooking talents were displayed. She baked pies for Kreglinger’s cafe and the Cree Mee in Stover. She also worked at Nolting’s Department Store and the MFA Exchange before opening her own licensed daycare, which operated out of her home. Her talent for cooking led her to open Mary’s Ozark Restaurant where she served home-style meals. After selling her business, she worked at Pioneer Restaurant and Pizza Hut in Versailles. When she and her husband spent winters in Arizona, she worked at Perkins and Denny’s restaurants in Bullhead City, Ariz. She returned to baby-sitting in 2015 and 2016 before retiring.
Until her health recently failed, she had a side business “Rugs by Mary” where she made woven throw rugs, placemats, and coasters, which she took to craft shows throughout the state.
She was a lifelong member of Christ Lutheran Church in Stover, where she served as church organist.
She is survived by children and their spouses, Steven and Debbie Eckhoff, Paul and Debbie Eckhoff, and Tom and Debra Eckhoff, all of Stover, and Marilyn and Jeffrey Maynard of San Antonio, Texas; brother and sister-in-law Arthur and Glenda Brauer of Edwards; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, brother Alfred Brauer, and a granddaughter.
Funeral services were Saturday, June 10, at Christ Lutheran Church in Stover with the Rev. Tom Tuura officiating. Ruth Leeper was the accompanist. The choir sang “In My Heart There Rings A Melody.” The congregational hymns were “When We All Get To Heaven” and “In The Garden.” There was special music by Karsten Eckhoff.
Interment was in Stover Cemetery. Kyle Eckhoff, Mitchell Simon, Dennis Harms, Wesley Bolinger, Ronald Brauer, Cory Garr, and Bob Witte served as pallbearers. Jamie Simon, Raven Eckhoff, Miranda Bolinger, Erin Eckhoff, Victoria Eckhoff, Katie Eckhoff, Karsten Eckhoff, Donovan Maynard, Dasan Maynard, Ashur Maynard, Ariel Maynard, and Kalen Maynard were honorary pallbearers.
Memorial contributions were suggested to Christ Lutheran Church in Stover.
Arrangements under direction of the Scrivner-Morrow Funeral Home in Stover.