Cover photo for Martha Irene Eccher's Obituary
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Martha Irene Eccher

February 13, 1943 — September 8, 2022

Martha Irene Eccher

Martha Irene Eccher, 79, entered into eternal rest Thursday, September 8, 2022. She was born on February 13, 1943 in Carthage, Missouri to the late Lyman Chester Reiley and Lucreta Sparks Reiley. She was predeceased by her parents as well as her sister, Marilyn Kay Reiley.

Martha grew up in Lamar, MO, and graduated from Lamar High School in 1961. Martha then graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in 1966 with a B.S. degree in Education.

She met the love of her life, William (Bill) Anthony Eccher, at a dance when she had "unsuspectingly" sat in his chair. Upon returning to his seat, he asked whether she was going to move or if he was going to have to sit in her lap. The latter choice began one of the greatest love stories ever known. 

Bill and Martha’s 59 years of matrimony began following their wedding on November 27, 1963. Their marriage was five days after JFK's assassination, and this time of national mourning required a special request from an eager Bill to have the courthouse opened for a marriage certificate issuance. 

After college, Bill and Martha moved to Malvern, Iowa, where Martha began her 30 year elementary school teaching career. Hundreds of children were impacted through Martha’s loving education. Matthew 19:14. 

From Malvern, Iowa, Bill and Martha moved to Walton County, Georgia, with time living in both Monroe and Social Circle, Georgia. Here, they raised their children Amy Eccher Hearn (John) of Marietta and Tim Anthony (Ann Holliday) Eccher of LaGrange, Texas, and Yoda (the cat) all of whom she loved dearly.

She is also survived by Tim and Ann's children, Reiley Ann Drozd (Daniel) and Emma Rose Eccher (Kessler Seitter), as well as Amy and John's children, Darden Elizabeth, Christian Reiley, and William Aaron Hearn. They called her “Gram.” Martha had previously ruled out “Grandmother.” 

Martha loved Table Rock Lake in Missouri, where she created some of her grandchildren’s fondest memories. Five grandchildren with unlimited access to a pool, boat, golf cart, and a four-wheeler, made Martha nervous, but she helped them all grow into mature, independent grandchildren through their use. She taught her grandchildren to hold their hands flat while feeding the horses and to never go near the water without a life jacket. Any clothes worn at the lake were promptly washed, folded, and waiting at the top of the stairs. Martha would sit on the boat, smiling, with her legs crossed and arms resting on the back of the seat enjoying watching Bill drive their grandkids around on the tube.

In March of this year, Martha was so happy to have her entire family together in Texas during the marriage of her granddaughter, Reiley. Pictures and memories of that celebration are now cherished.

Martha was vibrant, active, healthy, pristinely organized, and took the lead in any outdoor hike. Martha and Bill enjoyed traveling (river cruises), birding (her favorite bird was the Elegant Trogon), hiking, and antiquing.

Martha never met a stranger. She could strike up a conversation with anyone, including people in line at Starbucks, fellow travelers, birders, and even repairmen. Through the years, Martha brightened her home by collecting Fiestaware, Roseville pottery, and Vaillancourt Santas; Every year on their anniversary, Bill would give Martha a new Vaillancourt Santa – where they happily sit on display in their home year-round.

For the past 12 years, Martha and Bill split their time between Cumming, Georgia, and Green Valley, Arizona. Martha was a devout Catholic and a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Green Valley, Arizona. The family is comforted by Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Matthew 11:28. 

Everyone who knew her has a “Martha” story, and we would love to hear them all. To share a memory or send condolences to her family, please write to 1545 Brook Knoll Lane, Cumming, GA  30041.  

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the non-profit of her favorite hiking trails:

In Memory of Martha I. Eccher; c/o Friends of Madera Canyon, P.O. Box 1203 Green Valley, AZ 85622. ( For more information, contact Paul Purdome at 520-360-2611.

The family will receive friends Saturday September 17, 2022 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the funeral home.

Ingram Funeral Home, 210 Ingram Ave., Cumming, GA 30040 in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Irene Eccher, please visit our flower store.


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