Gladys Eckert, 97, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away peacefully on the evening of October 7, 2018, at Royal Middletown Nursing Home in Middletown, RI, a few weeks shy of her 98th birthday.
Gladys was born October 22, 1920, in Easton, PA, to the late George and Wilomena (Hook) Yeager. She graduated from the Robert Morris School in 1938 and relocated to the Allentown, Philadelphia area.
Gladys was married to the late William (Bill) E. Eckert, Senior Chief MMC retired, for 44 years. He served in the Navy for 27 years and, with Gladys, was stationed in the Newport area for 15 years during active service. They built a life together in the Newport area raising three sons Ronald (Retired Lt. Colonel, USMC), William (Retired with distinction from Rhode Island State Police), and Gary Eckert (Active Duty USAF Veteran with Far East Service). As a family, they made Aquidneck Island home for more than 65 years.
Gladys was a lively and active grandmother to five granddaughters Cindy Eckert Baer, Debbie Eckert Doncaster, Kelli Eckert, Kristen Eckert Neese and Kimberly Eckert. She was also an adopted grandmother to countless other families in the Newport area working as a childcare giver for many families of Naval officers while stationed in the area. Gladys served proudly in numerous civic organizations including serving as the Vice-President for the Navy League, Marine Corps League and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
When she wasn't working to help raise her own family or those of her surrogate Newport families, Gladys loved to enjoy long days at the beach with her husband Bill and their granddaughters, soaking in the sun and ocean views from high above the dunes at Second Beach in Middletown, RI.
Gladys was affectionately known as Mimi to her eight great grandchildren: Lindsay, Dylan and Charlie Baer; Will and Sadie Doncaster; and Hudson, Sarah Beth and Jack Neese. She led an energetic contingent to family weddings and holiday events, always bringing extra laughs and smiles to the events. The entire family was last together celebrating her 90th birthday at a party at Gooseberry Beach.
Gladys is survived by her sons; Ronald Eckert and his wife, Kathie, of Southport, NC, and William Eckert and his wife, Claire, of Narragansett, RI. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law, Maria Eckert, five loving granddaughters and eight great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, her son Gary, and her parents.
A Memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 36 Hillside Avenue, Newport, RI. Family and friends are invited to attend a reception in Gladys' honor following the Jehovah’s Witnesses Memorial. Burial will be private.