A Legacy for Her Community

Categories: Donor Stories
Elizabeth Dorothea Eckmann

Elizabeth Dorothea Eckmann, “an adventurous spirit and a zest for life” is how her niece, Diane Bunce, describes her. “Everything we did together was just plain fun and she always had a smile, a laugh, and a little shrug!”

“Dode,” as her friends called her, settled in Seattle at age 11. She graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1935, and attended the University of Washington where she met her husband John. In 1943 they married and after the war Dode and John took his military pay and purchased land on Lake Washington to build their home.

John and Dode, who were married for 64 years, started their journey of being involved in the Kirkland community shortly after WWII. They were founding members of a local church where both were active in a variety of ministries. They had a lust for the outdoors and loved sailing, skiing, and hiking with The Mountaineers. Dode found joy in bringing people together through her annual holiday cruise behind the Christmas ship or planning a picnic atop a snowy mountain to acknowledge she needed to quit skiing at the age of 85.

She relished time with her family and often took her nieces and nephews on adventures like finding a factory where you could buy “fresh” fortune cookies. “There was always a game of croquet or bocce ball going in the front yard” says Bunce about the many family gatherings on the shore of Lake Washington. “Dode was a fun loving, talented, and gracious lady and she always had time for friends and neighbors in need.”

But there is more to Dode’s story. She had an extraordinary capacity to touch people and it was clear that John and Dode wanted to take care of their community. By establishing a charitable trust through their estate planning, EvergreenHealth Foundation received a generous gift through her will. Dode had several relatives who received services at the Medical Center and the Wockner Hospice Care Center. Dode and John recognized that EvergreenHealth was an important community asset worthy of their support.

In March 2013 Mrs. Eckmann died at the age of 95. By her thoughtful planning, she left a legacy gift to help the residents of her beloved community. We at EvergreenHealth are truly grateful for her inspiring community spirit.