Mary Lou (Oliver) Eckler, 86, of Wellsville, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at her home in Wellsville.
Mrs. Eckler was born June 25, 1934 in Wellsville, Missouri, a daughter of Ray and Clara Louise (Lampe) Oliver.
She was a 1952 graduate of Wellsville High School.
On July 9, 1953 at the United Methodist-Presbyterian Church in Wellsville, by Rev. Harold Speckelmeyer, she married Roger Ellis Eckler, Jr., sharing over 54 years together. He preceded her in death on March 22, 2008. Mary Lou and Roger lived on their farm in rural Wellsville from 1969-2007, moving on Highway 19 from 2007 to present.
Mary Lou was a life time farmer, helping her husband, Roger, throughout the years. She had also worked for Dr. William McDowell Veterinary Clinic in Wellsville and then later went to work for Dr. Samuel Byland as a receptionist and office assistant. Mary Lou had also worked at Optec in Mexico.
She was a member of the Wellsville United Methodist-Presbyterian Church, where she worked many hours in the church basement selling clothes and also donating to families in need. Mary Lou worked at the churches Lord's Acre Sale, where she and her sister, Marilyn, started Attic Treasures.
Mary Lou was a former member of the Wellsville Depot Board, Studere, V.F.W. Auxillary and Montgomery County Historical Society. She worked as a judge for elections for many years. Mary Lou volunteered her time delivering Meals on Wheels for Montgomery County for over 30 years.
She enjoyed going to garage sales and growing flowers. Mary Lou loved spending time with her family and friends, also visiting friends at the nursing home.
Mary Lou was a life-long resident of Wellsville and loved her community and its people. She did not know a stranger and had friends of all walks of life and ages. Anyone from Wellsville knew when you saw the little red truck coming down the road it was Mary Lou. She was an avid Facebooker and loved communicating through memes and sharing interesting and funny posts. Mary Lou loved all creatures great and small and fed many barn cats as well as the occasional raccoon family and opossums. She loved mowing her yard and bought herself a new lawn mower for her 86th birthday 2 weeks ago. Despite several days of rain she had already accumulated 14 hours on her new best friend, Johnny Deere. She had a green thumb like no other and we are pretty sure she could grow rocks!!
Mary Lou is survived by children Mary Jean “Jeanne” (Karl) Shellabarger, of Centralia, Andrus Ray “Andy” (Tamey) Eckler, of St. Louis and Michael David (Kari Griffen) Eckler, of Wentzville; grandchildren, Jacob Wesley (Dawn) Shellabarger, of Mexico, Kate Ellen (Adam) Haskell, of Rutland, Vermont, Christopher Andrew Eckler, of University City, Kyle Roger (Liz) Eckler, of Gardner, Kansas, Rachel Lynn (Sergeant First Class David) Wadkins, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Steven Lennon (Sarah) Eckler, of Montgomery City, Elizabeth Ann (Jordan Burton) Eckler, of Clear View, Florida and Alana and Cameron Griffin, of Wentzville and special self-proclaimed granddaughter, Ariana Carmichael, of Wellsville; great-grandchildren, Zoe Collins Eckler, Eric and Audrey Shellabarger, Brynn and Lucas Markowski-Haskell, Ava, Jaedyn and Jackson Wadkins, Jenna Lou and Paul Eckler, Ethan and Olivia Eckler and Dakota Eckler; one brother, Richard (Carol) Oliver, of Madison, Wisconsin; in addition to many nephews and nieces, too many to count friends and various others she simply adopted along the way.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Roger Eckler, Jr.; parents, Ray and Clara Oliver; sisters, Evelyn Weiss, Dorothy Shocklee and Marilyn Goshorn; grandson, Eric Ray Shellabarger; niece, Carolyn Goshorn Smith and her beloved dog Abbie. She was looking forward to the long awaited reunion with them as she was certain she was missing out on some good times! There is no doubt, Heaven is full of laughter and joy as the reunion took place.
Anyone that knew Mary Lou knew she lived life on her own terms and in her own way. So it will be no surprise that she pretty much demanded no funeral, no visitation and no church dinner. She wanted no fluff. We will respect her wishes and ask that anyone that wishes to remember her do so by just simply doing something nice for someone along the way.
Private Family Graveside Services were held Friday, July 10, 2020 at the Wellsville Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Karl Shellabarger, Jacob Shellabarger, Christopher Eckler, Kyle Eckler, Steven Eckler and David Wadkins.
Services were under the direction of the Myers Funeral Home in Wellsville.
Memorials may be given to the Montgomery County Senior Center food program or donation to a local animal shelter…preference no Kill shelter c/o Myers Funeral Home, 203 East Bates Street, Wellsville, MO 63384.
We thank Wellsville for loving our Mom like we did. She served it well with her heart and soul.
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