Susan Shirley Eckel of Galveston, Texas, died peacefully Thursday, November 7, 2013, having valiantly endured Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA).
Born January 14, 1938 in Austin, Texas, Susan and her family moved to Galveston in 1947 where she placed in a state tennis tournament and graduated as salutatorian from Ball High School in 1956. She attended Agnes Scott College, and graduated from the University of Texas where she majored in art and history and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Susan married John Eckel, graduate of the University of Texas Law School, and moved to Juneau, Alaska where John was involved in codifying that new state's law. After returning to Galveston, Susan committed herself to the arts and historical preservation, serving as President of the Junior League Galveston County, Chairman of the Truehart-Adriance Building restoration, Vice-Chair of the Rosenberg Library, and President of the Trinity School Board, President, as well as on the boards of the Galveston Arts Center and the Galveston Historical Foundation. She was an active member of Moody Church.
Susan had a love for San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she and her family spent many happy times. She and John loved to travel.
A gifted monotype artist, Susan used her experiences as subjects for her warm vividly colorful paintings which graced many Galveston area homes and galleries, sometimes together with her daughter Elizabeth, also an artist.
Susan was predeceased by her parents Betty and Preston Shirley, and her daughter Elizabeth Eckel. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 52 years John Eckel, her sons Hodgson Eckel, and Preston Eckel and wife Melissa and their children Jackson, Harrison, Georgia and Josie. She is also survived by her sisters and their husbands, Carolyn and Bryan Wimberly, Sarah Shirley and Cary White, her sister-in-law and husband Mary and Bob Nefsky, and many nieces and nephews. She will be missed by family and many wonderful friends.
A memorial service will be held Monday, November 11, 2013 at 11:00 am at Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church, 59th and Ave U, Galveston, with Reverend Bert Bagley and Reverend John Donovan officiating.
Remembrances may be made to the Rosenberg Library, 2310 Sealy, Galveston, Texas 77550, or to the charity of one's choice.