Carol Marie Eckel, 88, formerly of Grand Marais, died September 30, 2016 in Plano, Texas.
She was born January 5, 1928 in Duluth, MN to Alfred and Edith Frances (Hedstrom) Fenstad. She grew up in Grand Marais, graduating from the high school in 1946. Carol began work at age 16 as a Northwestern Bell telephone operator. She then attended the University of MN/Duluth, until she married Thomas (Tommy) Eckel on July 18, 1947. Their first years of married life were spent living and fishing on Isle Royale from spring to fall. She continued to assist and support Tommy in his commercial fishing business for many years. She was employed for 29 years at the Cook County Clerk of Court Office, fifteen of those years (1981 -1996) serving as Court Administrator. She performed many weddings in that position and continued officiating at weddings after her retirement; from beaches to docks to overlooks to canoes and even on the seat of a snowmobile.
Carol was a member of the Evangelical Free Church of Grand Marais. She enjoyed traveling and gardening and spending time with family: her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She took several significant trips with them all in her final years. She moved to Texas in July, 2013 to be cared for by her daughter.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Elizabeth Johnson; Thomas Eckel; and their infant daughter, Joan Marie.
She is survived by a daughter, MaryBeth (Don) Gilmer of Little Elm, TX; and sons, Scott (Joyce) Eckel of Bemidji, and David Eckel of Grand Marais; grandchildren, Erik (Summer) Gilmer, Jenna (Trent) Dunham, Malia (Peter) Camerino, Rebekka (Eric) Ford, Michaela (Ted) Osborn; ten great-grandchildren and another due in November; and a brother, Marshall (Jean) Fenstad of North Oaks, MN.
Memorials preferred to Evangelical Free Church of Grand Marais. Visitation will be from 12 Noon until the 1 PM service on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Grand Marais. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery.