Obituary Listings

Roberta Kay Eckelbecker

November 15, 1940 November 4, 2018
Roberta Kay Eckelbecker
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Obituary for Roberta Kay Eckelbecker

Roberta Eckelbecker, a lifelong Nebraskan known for her creativity and curiosity, died Nov. 4 at Hillcrest Country Estates in Papillion after a long illness. She was 77.
Mrs. Eckelbecker, nicknamed Bobbi, was a descendant of prairie homesteaders and a devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and guardian of stray pets.
She was born Roberta Kay Moorhead in 1940 in Omaha to Robert and Charlotte Moorhead. Her brother, Larry, was born three years later, and the family moved to Bellevue after World War II.
Mrs. Eckelbecker grew up singing and playing the trumpet. After graduating from Bellevue High School in 1959, she worked at a printing company. One day while bowling with a friend at Space Lanes Bowling Alley, she met a red-haired Air Force airman from Michigan who was moonlighting as a short-order cook.
“I just decided I wanted to talk to her, so I got a bowling ball and started bowling on the alley next to them,” Howard C. Eckelbecker Jr. would later say.
The couple married in 1961. Their first child, a daughter, was born a year later. A son and another daughter soon followed.
Mr. Eckelbecker, nicknamed Pete, left the Air Force and took a job with the U.S. Postal Service. Mrs. Eckelbecker ran their home, which was next door to her parents in Bellevue. She baked treats for her children’s school activities, took in lost cats and mastered arts and crafts ranging from photography to pottery.
She shared her artistic skills at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Bellevue, where she taught toddlers to sculpt with dough she made at home. During summers, after teaching Vacation Bible School, Mrs. Eckelbecker piled her family into their station wagon for road trips to national parks, historic sites and factories that offered tours. She navigated from the passenger seat, using stacks of maps and tour books. The family rarely made a wrong turn.
A longtime booster of Bellevue East cross country, Mrs. Eckelbecker was honored in 1985 with a team letter for her support and the many gallons of sport drinks she brought to meets. She cheered especially loudly for youths whose parents could not attend the events. She chaperoned countless school and Bellevue East band field trips, visiting places as near as Fontenelle Forest and as far as New York City.
Mrs. Eckelbecker believed firmly in a citizen’s duty to vote. She was a poll worker for many years in Sarpy County, caucused for Democrats and baked cookies in 2008 for Obama campaign volunteers.
Later in life, Mrs. Eckelbecker took up genealogy, meticulously documenting hidden stories about her ancestors. She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which left her hands stiff and weakened. Yet during her final years, she began learning leathercraft. She enjoyed meeting residents at Hillcrest and whimsically compared retirement living to boarding school.
Mrs. Eckelbecker’s parents and brother died before her. She leaves her husband, who lives at Hillcrest Country Estates; a daughter, Lisa Eckelbecker, of Worcester, Mass.; a son and daughter-in-law, Aaron Eckelbecker and Jenifer Sorensen, of Eden Prairie, Minn.; a daughter and son-in-law, Charlotte and Fred Pienkos, of Los Angeles; two grandchildren, Danika and Kieran Pienkos; and many nieces and nephews.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

9

Nov

10:00 AM 11/9/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 11/9/2018 11:00:00 AM
John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel

3402 Samson Way
Bellevue, NE 68123

John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel
3402 Samson Way Bellevue 68123 NE
United States

Services

Friday

9

Nov

11:00 AM 11/9/2018 11:00:00 AM
John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel

3402 Samson Way
Bellevue, NE 68123

John A Gentleman Mortuaries - Bellevue/Sarpy County Chapel
3402 Samson Way Bellevue 68123 NE
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Bellevue Cemetery Final Resting Place

Franklin St
Bellevue, Nebraska 68005

Franklin St Bellevue 68005 Nebraska
United States

Memorial Contribution

Sarpy County Historical Museum

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