Marceliene Mae Eckhart, the daughter of William and Marie Marcks Garnjobst, was born April 2, 1922, in Crofton, Nebraska. Her early education started in a country school three miles from her home. The first couple of years she got to and from school by riding a horse behind her uncle, but when he graduated from 8th grade and started high school in Crofton, she no longer had a ride. The solution was the purchase of a big brown horse that was awfully big to her and didn't really like going to school. The horse quickly learned that he could get Marceliene off by going into the ditch and rubbing up against the fence. That left Marceliene in the dirt on the other side of the fence. Once accomplishing that, the horse would turn around quickly and trot home leaving Marceliene to walk the rest of the way to school and then back home after school. What changes Marceliene saw in her 96 years.
When the family farm was lost during the Great Depression, the family moved to Spencer, IA, to live with Marceliene's Aunt Annie and Uncle Ernie Schoning for a time. She completed her education and graduated from Spencer High School. After graduating, she worked for the law offices of Cornwall and Avery.
On November 16, 1941, Marceliene married Rufus Eckhart in Spencer, IA. The attack on Pearl Harbor shortly thereafter sent them off to spend four yours in the service. Rufus spent his time in the United States Army stationed at Camp Crowder, MO, while Marceliene spent her time as the secretary of the U.S.O. - Y. M. C. A. Club in Joplin, MO.
After spending a number of years in the South working various jobs, Rufus and Marceliene moved back to Spencer in 1953 and built the South “T” Motel. When they determined that they were not cut out to be in the motel business, the motel was sold and they started farming just south of Spencer. Later Marceliene purchased and operated the Spencer Loan and Abstract company. When she retired and sold that business, she found something to do by becoming the secretary and bookkeeper for her son, Michael Eckhart, at the Eckhart Construction Company.
Marceliene had many things she loved to do. She was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church in Spencer, serving with a number of ladies' groups within the church. One of her favorite things was to decorate the altar for special occasions and holidays. She was, also, an active member of the Clay County Garden Club and served as treasurer for many years. She helped organize the Floriculture exhibits and used her creative talents designing tables and niches at the Clay County Fair up until this year. Through all these years, Rufus and she would not miss dancing at the Woodcliff and other venues in the area.
On Monday, August 20, 2018, Marceliene passed away in Sioux Falls, SD, at the age of 96. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Left to cherish her memory are children and their spouses: Vicki and Christopher Sylvia of Las Vegas, NV; Michael and Sharon Eckhart of Spencer, IA; Keith and Mary Ann Eckhart of Newton, IA; 6 grandchildren: Kristi (Eric) Wittrock; Heather (Jean McComsey) Eckhart; Heath (Resa) Eckhart; Alex (Lacey) Congdon; Jeremy (Angie) Johannsen; Eric (Megan) Johannsen; 13 great-grandchildren: Echo, Zoe, Maxwell, Cole, Kathryn, Luke, Ella, Emma, Melody, Elliott, Dakota, Skyler, and Justin: one brother and his wife; Roger and Sue Garnjobst of Pensacola, FL: one sister-in-law; Corrine King of Lakefield, MN; as well as other relatives and friends.
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