Gloria Jean Eckstein, of Niles

March 5, 1943 — Feb. 12, 2018

Gloria Jean Eckstein, 74, of Niles, died unexpectedly on Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.

She was born on March 5, 1943, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Carl E. and Mable F. (Giant) Waikel. She was graduated from Niles High School, and has lived here most of her life. She was employed in the offices of SPI Molded Parts in South Bend, Indiana, serving for 24 years prior to her retirement. She had also worked in the offices of the former Tyler Refrigeration and Thornton Electric, both in Niles.

Gloria Jean Eckstein

Gloria was an avid reader of novels. She was well-known for her efforts in the kitchen, cooking and baking, especially cakes and pies from scratch.

Her greatest interest – and joy – was her family. In her words: “Her most grand passion was her grandchildren and watching them in their many activities, which included a lot of ball games. She was known to say that their ballgames was her summer social life.”

On Feb. 23, 1963, in Niles, she married Richard G. Eckstein with whom she would have celebrated next week their 55 anniversary.

Surviving family includes her husband, Richard Eckstein and their children, Anthony Richard “Tony” (Terri) Eckstein and Jeanne Lynn Peel, both of Niles; grandchildren Kari (Cameron) Thompson, Andrew Eckstein, Kassi (Gregg) Dodd, Denise (Nathan) Ford, Ciara Peel, Lucas Stover, and James Stover; great-grandchildren Kaylen, Noah, Ethan, and Gaby; step great-grandchildren Liam, Lyric, Gavin, and James; Richard’s sister, Joan Robinson of Windsor, Ontario; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl Waikel and Mable Waikel Webber, and by a sister, Shirley Bauer and Shirley’s husband, Norman.

The funeral service for Gloria Eckstein will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles with the Rev. Jeffrey Whittaker of the Michiana Christian Embassy officiating. Committal will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of Gloria may be made to an organization of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at: halbritterwickens.com.

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