Johnny Jacqueline Eckebrecht, formerly of Santa Barbara, passed away on April 3, 2013, at age 88 in Oceanside.
She was born in Oklahoma City on July 15, 1924, to parents James Bryant and Ruby Clouette.
Johnny met her future husband, Frank Edward Eckebrecht, in 1941 and they were married in 1943. While Frank served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II, Johnny did her part by enlisting in the U.S. Marines, stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C. When Frank came home, they made their home in Chicago, Ill., and raised their family there. She was the former owner of Burlap and Velvet Décor Shoppe while in Chicago.
In the early 1980s, Frank and Johnny moved to Santa Barbara, where they lived on the Mesa. While in Santa Barbara, Johnny and Frank immersed themselves in the community. They attended the Old Misson Santa Barbara and made many good friends there. They were members of the Santa Barbara Dance Club and loved their times dressing up, listening to the “old-time” bands and dancing with their friends.
Johnny began working at St. Francis Hospital as a dedicated Guild volunteer and eventually became president of the Guild. She had a special relationship with the Franciscan Sisters who lived in the convent behind the hospital, and formed special friendships with several priests who served there as well. As Guild president, Johnny also served on the St. Francis Foundation and was appointed as an honorary foundation board member for her many years of enthusiastic assistance with numerous fundraising events, including the annual pro-celebrity golf tournaments.
In 2001, Johnny and Frank moved to Conroe, Texas, to live closer to their daughter and son-in-law. In 2012, Johnny moved to Oceanside, when her daughter and son-in-law decided to live close to their daughter and family.
Johnny was predeceased by Frank, her husband of 61 years, and is survived by her daughter Diane (James) Nelson of Escondido and son Jim (Marie) of Littleton, Colo., as well as grandchildren Roxanne (Andre) Farris, Emily and Noah Eckebrecht.
A memorial Mass will be held in Johnny’s honor at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9 at the Old Mission Santa Barbara.