Shirley Rea (Fulcher) Eckenberger, 79, passed peacefully on Friday, Nov. 22 in South Bend with her family around her.
She was born on March 1, 1940 in Sebree, Webster County, Kentucky to Aubrey and Mary Jo (Franklin) Fulcher, both who preceded her in death.
She married William “Bill” Eckenberger. They were married 43 years when he preceded her in death.
She lived most of her 79 years on the southside of South Bend. She attended Riley High School. During her lifetime she worked for a variety of companies including Ball Band Corp., TempCor and many years housekeeping. She earned her real estate license was a realtor for Cressy and Everett. She also enjoyed working at the South Bend FOP bingo hall for several years. In the 1960s, she and her husband both raced stock cars at South Bend Motor Speedway. She was a member of the National Campers and Hikers Association for 25 years, and served as the state and national Teen Director for the organization during the 1980s. Over the years for fun, she participated in leagues for bowling, softball and darts.
Shirley was most proud of her family. Surviving are her five children, Marcia (Kurt) Keiser of Fort Collins, Colo.; Rick Eckenberger and Brenda (Greg) Lilves of North Liberty; Lori (Mike) Cook of Louisville, Ky.; and Lisa (Dan) O’Berry of Street, Md. Also surviving are her grandchildren: Rodney (Kelly) Eckenberger, South Bend; Audra (Trey) Brickner, Fort Collins, Colo.; Kelly Hostetler, Wyatt; Nicholas (Nadine) Keiser, Switzerland; Kyle (Nancy) Lilves, Bremen; Jamie (Ryan) Harris, Mishawaka; Eric Eckenberger, South Bend; Joshua and Ashley Cook, Louisville, Ky.; Emma and Hannah O’Berry, Street, Md.; 13 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Shirley also is survived by her brother David Fulcher, Slidell, La. and several cousins, in-laws, nieces and nephews. Her sisters Mary Lou and Sharon Fulcher preceded her in death. Her loving companion dog Casper also will mourn her loss.
A gathering of friends and family will be held at Zahoran Funeral Home, 1826 Kemble Ave., South Bend on Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. To leave an online condolence, please visit our website at www.zahoran.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Center for Hospice Care or the Humane Society of St. Joseph County.
Shirley’s cremated remains will be interred at Sumption Prairie Cemetery in South Bend.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Rea (Fulcher) Eckenberger, please visit our floral store.
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The Center for Hospice Care
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