Ellen L. Eckhoff



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Ellen Lucy (Church) Eckhoff, 83, Rochester, NY passed peacefully in her home Sunday, January 30, 2022, after a 15 month battle with cancer. Born in Fowler, NY, on March 22, 1938, to Elmer H. Church and Coralie M. (Hitchman) Church she began life in a home with no electricity or water the fourth of five children and the only one to be born at home. Her family moved to Evans Mills when she was nine to take on a large dairy farm. She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in history from Roberts Wesleyan College. Librarians were needed so she soon pursued her master’s degree from Geneseo College to teach the children of servicemen in Army schools in Bad Kreuznach, Germany as she dreamed of seeing the world while doing chores and watching the cows in the pasture on the family farm. She took the opportunity to travel when in Germany, even to Russia during the height of the Cold War. Upon moving back to New York, she taught at several schools in the North Country of NY as well as in Greece, NY and at Rochester City Schools #41, #52, Franklin and Charlotte as well as in Wisconsin for a brief period prior. An avid traveler—her favorite trip being Machu Picchu—she traveled all over the US and even to Egypt and overseas with her sister, Frieda, granddaughters, daughter and friends. She enjoyed lifelong learning at Osher and always was reading. Ellen loved to be active especially golfing and bowling which she did up to the age of 82. She was a member of Immanuel Church of the Nazarene since 1970 and later to Trinity Nazarene. She trusted God implicitly to care for her needs and help her overcome anything life threw at her. Ellen is predeceased by her sisters, Frieda Monahan and Phyllis Lilly, both also affected by cancer and passing at the age of 83. She is survived by her brothers James Church and Elmer Church, Jr., her brother-in-law Jim Lilly, her daughter, Katrina (Walt) Mason and her granddaughters Rebekah (Luke) Cothran & Kara (Stephen) Burton as well as six great-grandchildren, Luke Ross Cothran, Jr., Cade Robert Cothran, Henry James Burton, Rose Ellen Cothran, Charles Elliott Burton and one more Burton baby girl due in August. While her daughter’s family lived near Birmingham and Tulsa she had several Rochester & New York State area nieces and nephews, and their children, whom she cared deeply for and developed strong relationships with, most extensively with Kathy and Dr. Walt Hahn and their daughters Kristin and Erika; Karen and Gregg Carpenter and their daughter and son-in-law Drs. Kendra and Peter Steele; Dan and Andrea Monahan and their children Carina and Connor. She loved and cared deeply for all family but was most happy, these days, when holding her great-grandchildren.  She had many friendships over the years and truly enjoyed her time with all. There will be a time of visitation at 10:30 am with the service beginning at 11 am on Saturday, February 5 at Vay-Schleich & Meeson, 1075 Long Pond Rd, Rochester, NY 14626 and a graveside service following at Riverside Cemetery. Rather than donations, please find someone in need and help them out, when you have the means. Ellen would frequently pay for meals for the homeless or help out someone less fortunate when their paths crossed.


  1. Lynn Steltmann on February 3, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    I will remember Ellen as the quiet, sweet lady who bowled with us in the Rochester Teacher’s for so many years. It seemed she always did her best when she okayed our team.

  2. Juliann Zelazny on February 3, 2022 at 2:09 pm

    Ellen was a great teammate and friend. When I joined the Lightning Strikes bowling team of the RCSD league I felt like I had been a part of the team for years do to Ellen’s welcoming personality. We always shared small gifts at Christmas and celebrated the birth of her great grandchildren and my grandchildren. I will truly miss her friendship and send my condolences to her loving family. Juliann Zelazny – RCSD Teachers and Retired Teachers bowling league.

  3. Jennifer Conti on February 3, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Ellen was a wonderful neighbor and will be dearly missed. On some occasions, she and I would rake leaves together and she told me about of her travels and how her family was doing. She always had a smile or wave to offer. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  4. Joyce Giarrizzo on February 3, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Ellen was a great friend and fellow golfer. She always had something nice to say and enjoyed golfing with everyone on Monday night and Friday morning. I think she was the first golfer I know who had a Birdie (at Shore Acre’s). We also had a great time when we went to NYC for a weekend, by train.

  5. Maria Stubing on February 3, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    A real sadness overwhelms me when I think of losing a dear friend. We enjoyed many things together, but our favorite was golfing. During these cold snowy days, I especially remember our golf tournament in the snow – she was even able to beat me during those wintry conditions. May she be remembered as a caring, unselfish person who really shared her love – and may memories of her inspire us to live lovingly.

  6. Grace Simonetti on February 3, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    A wonderful friend and colleague. Good memories. Condolences to the family. I remember many happy occasions with her in #41 school.

  7. Dave Buck on February 3, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    I remember her as Katrina’s mother. She was always very kind when I visited. My condolences to the family.

  8. Julia Steapleton on February 4, 2022 at 1:04 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

  9. Judy Nickerson on February 4, 2022 at 1:54 am

    One very sweet lady. My condolences to the family.

  10. Laurie Skelly on February 4, 2022 at 11:12 am

    Rest in Peace, Ellen Love, Laurie Skelly

  11. Linda S Moore on February 4, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    A lovely lady from a loving family. Rest in peace, Ellen.

  12. Brenda Cretney on February 4, 2022 at 6:04 pm

    I golfed with Ellen and the more I got to know her the more I realized what a beautiful person she is.

  13. Pam Carbone on February 4, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    Ellen was a woman after God’s heart. She was very wise and kind and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Her presence at Trinity will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolences to the family. May you experience God’s peace and comfort during this time.

  14. Stephanie Sutton on February 7, 2022 at 12:27 am

    So sorry to hear. I remember Ellen from Immanuel Church. such a sweet lady, So sorry for your loss Katrina and family. Her picture is exactly how I remember her. ❤️

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