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Talented musician does 90 years in fine style

by Bonnie Whitehead

CLIFFORD - Irma Eckenswiller was treated to a celebration in honour of her 90th birthday on July 17 at Jamesway Manor here.

Her talent and true calling as a gifted organist, accomplished pianist, and devoted teacher is well known throughout the area. Her love of music formed at the age of 8.

Eckenswiller is a graduate and associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. She has nurtured hundreds of students and continues to offer lessons to this day.

Eckenswiller recalled the first of her 30 years of Sunday mornings at the Knox United Church in Clifford playing a brute of a pump organ with all her might. An electric Hammond organ was purchased and became a real joy to play.

She fondly reflected on the first time she played The Wedding March for her friends Doris and Len Hefkey back in 1944. In 1974, she accepted a position as organist at the Grace United Church in Hanover. After 29 years, she finally retired.

Eckenswiller is a member of Clifford’s Golden Girls. Last year, along with long time friend Marion Sangster, she created over 100 knitted Teddy bears. No two are alike in colour and costume choices. Those were handed out to needy Haitian children by Thelma Arnott and Dianne Buchanan, so Eckenswiller is creating more to send for the next trip.

Irma feels blessed with good health, great friends, and is happily situated at her new home at Jamesway. She was born and raised in Clifford, helped at the family business, taught piano to countless youth, enjoys the cultural and social aspects of the theatre, creates Teddy bears, and has enriched the lives of many with her talents, charm, and grace.

Ninety years of living filled with friends, fashion, and music makes Eckenswiller one of Clifford’s most beautiful and endearing people.

 

 

September 16, 2011

 
 

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