Cover photo for Susan Hall Eckel's Obituary
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1942 Susan 2024

Susan Hall Eckel

January 6, 1942 — May 6, 2024

Concord, Massachusetts

Susan Hall Eckel, who taught scores of elementary school students during a decades-long career as a teacher in Concord, Massachusetts, died in Boston, on May 6, 2024. She was 82.

Born January 6, 1942, in Port Chester, New York, to Robert Russell Hall and Jean Collins, Sue, as she was widely known, grew up in Riverside, Connecticut, where she was known to be gregarious and social. She was an avid sailor at the Riverside Yacht Club, and sang in the choir at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, nurturing a lifelong love of music.

She graduated from Greenwich High School in 1959 and then enrolled at Colby Junior College for Women in New London, New Hampshire. (The college is today known as Colby-Sawyer.)

After two years, she moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to attend Boston University, and she graduated from the School of Education with a bachelor of Science in 1963. That summer, she participated in an exchange program in The Netherlands with The Experiment in International Living with a Dutch host family, which she recalled fondly for years.

While teaching at Hanscom Air Force Base, just west of Boston, a mutual friend introduced her to an officer in the U.S. Air Force, George Mitchell Eckel, III, known widely as Mitch. They married on August 28, 1965, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Susan accompanied Mitch as he underwent pilot and other training in Kansas and various locations around the United States. When Mitch was deployed overseas, she lived briefly in Riverside, Connecticut, with her parents and taught in the Riverside schools.

Following Mitch’s return from to the United States, they moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Mitch enrolled at Harvard Law School. Susan began teaching again at Hanscom in the summer of 1969.

Their first son, George Mitchell Eckel, IV (Mike), was born in 1971. The following year, after Mitch completed law school, the family moved to Manchester, New Hampshire. Their twins, Peter Heywood Eckel and Richard Hall Eckel, were born in 1974. In 1975, Susan, Mitch, and their three boys moved to Concord, Massachusetts, where they lived for the following 43 years.

Susan initially worked as an educator at the Milldam Nursery School in Concord, then as a kindergarten teacher in the Concord Public Schools, and later as a first-grade teacher, primarily at Alcott School. She retired in 2007.

Susan was a devoted citizen of Concord. In addition to working in the schools, she was a member of the Trinitarian Congregational Church. She was an avid gardener and active in the Concord Garden Club in her later years. She also was an enthusiastic member of the Hugh Cargill Trust, which provides short-term emergency assistance to Concord residents in times of financial need.    

In their later years, she and Mitch moved to Lincoln, Massachusetts, where they were committed members of the Farrar Pond Community.  

Susan loved being a grandmother, attending soccer games, gymnastics events, and dance recitals. She will be remembered as a dedicated teacher, a loyal friend and “adventurer.”

Susan was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Mitch, who died in July 2023, and her younger brother Robert Russell Hall, Jr., who died in April 2011. She is survived by sons, Mike (Jenn), of Prague, Czech Republic; Richard (Marcy), of Stow, Massachusetts; and Peter (Isabelle), of West Roxbury, Massachusetts; and their families, including eight grandchildren Lily, Sydney, Scarlett, Daphne, Henry, Louise, Charles, and Grace; along with her brother, Daniel M. Hall, of Palm City, Florida, and her sister Jane C. Hall, of North Conway, New Hampshire.

Family and friends will gather to remember Susan at the Trinitarian Congregational Church this summer—the date and time will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Susan’s memory to:

Trinitarian Congregational Church

54 Walden Street

Concord, MA 01742

 Hugh Cargill Trust
Town of Concord
ATTN: Hugh Cargill Trust Committee
P.O. Box 535
Concord, MA 01742

 Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap St., Concord, MA 01742  978-369-3388  www.concordfuneral.com

 

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