Obituaries for the day of February 13, 2012

By Observer Upload February 14, 2012 09:53 pm


Feb. 18 — Claire Eckrich, celebration of life, noon, Blue Mountain Conference Center

March 3 — Lenore Bigler, celebration of life, 1 to 4 p.m., Powder grange



Claire E. Eckrich

La Grande



Claire Elizabeth Eckrich, 53, of La Grande, died Feb. 7 at her residence surrounded by her family after a battle with cancer. A celebration of Claire’s life will begin at noon Feb. 18 at the Blue Mountain Conference Center. A reception and luncheon will follow. Casual dress is requested. Burial will be at the Elgin Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

Claire was born on June 30, 1958, in Santa Barbara, Calif., to George R. O’Day and Joyce E. (Young) O’Day. She grew up in Southern California before her family moved to Myrtle Creek, where she graduated from South Umpqua High School. Following graduation, she attended Lane Community College in Eugene and
Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. 

On May 5, 1984, Claire and John E. “Jack” Eckrich were married in Myrtle Creek.

Claire worked at Western States Equipment Co. as a bookkeeper before accepting employment with the United States Postal Service. She was promoted from letter carrier to supervisor and from supervisor to postmaster of the La Grande office. She was the first female postmaster of the La Grande office. She served in that position until her death. 

Claire loved the community of La Grande. During her tenure, Claire was awarded multiple national letters of commendation for her professionalism and commitment to service.

Claire enjoyed hunting, fishing, biking, jogging, walking, camping and outdoor activities with her family and friends. She participated in softball and volleyball. 

She was active in the community with membership in Rotary and Delta Epsilon Sorority. She served as the district secretary/treasurer of National Association of Postmasters of the United States and was a member of the Soroptimist Club. Claire was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Claire is survived by her husband, Jack of La Grande; her children, Steve (Gina) Eckrich of Eugene, Stephanie Eckrich of Spokane, Wash., Sheryl Eckrich (Chad Crouch) of Portland and Michael Eckrich of La Grande; her mother, Joyce Elizabeth O’Day of Myrtle Creek; two brothers, Richard (Rica) O’Day of Fallon, Nev., and Patrick (Mary) O’Day of Camas, Wash.; her aunt, Judy Walters; sister-in-law, Vivian O’Day; five grandchildren; and 14 nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father, George R. O’Day; two brothers, Mark L. O’Day and Peter A. O’Day; and her brother-in-law, Steve Eckrich.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in care of Loveland Funeral Chapel, 1508 Fourth St., La Grande OR 97850.


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