Mary Eckles

Mary Bolton Eckles, 104, of College Station, passed away Thursday morning November 20, 2014 just shy of her 105th birthday. There will be a private interment for her family. A public memorial service is set for 3:00 p.m., Friday, December 5, 2014 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in College Station. A reception will follow.

Mary was proud to have been born and raised on the A&M Campus before the city of College Station existed. Her father, F. C. Bolton, established the Electrical Engineering School at TAMU and retired while serving as President. Mary fell in love with the leader of the Aggieland Orchestra, William (Bill) Eckles. They were married in Guion Hall when she was 18 and he was graduating as a cavalry officer in 1928. During this part of Mary’s life, she lived with Bill and their first son, Bill, Jr., in Victoria and Cuero where Bill was a band director and faculty member of the local junior college.

In the early 1940s with the outbreak of WWII, Bill joined the Army and Mary returned to College Station to live with her parents.

In 1948 Bill, Jr. was killed in a car accident at age 19. The next year, while stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Bill and Mary started their second family when Frank was born. Three years later, while stationed in Nuremburg, Germany, Jim was born.

Over the 32 years Bill served in the military they lived all over the world, ultimately retiring in College Station during the early 1960s when Bill joined the faculty of the School of Business.

Mary lived in College Station for the next 54 years. She was a member of the La Villita chapter of PEO, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a long time member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. She was a member of the Faculty Club, Foreign Students Association, and many bridge clubs. She was a skillful bridge player and a magnificent cook. She loved animals, flowers and especially enjoyed entertaining guests. Mary was the matriarch of the Bolton family and has been an inspiration for many generations.

She was preceded in death by her husband William E. Eckles; son Bill Eckles Jr.; brothers, Preston Bolton and Frank Bolton, Jr.; and her parents, Franklin and Lura Bolton.

Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law Frank and Vicki Eckles, James and Annie Eckles; grandchildren, Erik Eckles and wife Jenny, and Amy Weiner and husband Seth. She is also survived by her sister-in-laws Pauline and Jo Ann Bolton; nieces and nephews Frank Bolton, III, Lura Bolton Mathews, Virginia Bolton Dalton, and niece-in-law Zorena Segal Bolton.   Other nieces and nephews who were close to Mary include Dean, Mary, Theresa, Elizabeth, James, Elisa, Sue, Brian, and Jennifer. Some called her mother, some grandmother, but to most family and friends she was famously known as “Aunt Mary”

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Aggieland Humane Society at 5359 Leonard Rd, Bryan, TX 77807.


  1. Frank, I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. Praying for you and your family. I didn’t know you were living in College Station. I am still in Bryan. I hope I am able to take off work to be there for your mom’s service.

  2. Hello Frank and family,

    I am sorry for the lost of your mother. What a life she must have had, 104 years! I hope you are able to spend the memorial reflecting on your memories of her and your relationship with her and with each other. It is in the quiet moments surrounding events like weddings and memorials, when we have the opportunity to think about the impacts one life has on so many people. Frank and Vicki, my thoughts are with you as you grieve and make your transition of roles. ~ Cindy

  3. Frank,
    What an amazing woman, mother and family legacy! I know you have been a longtime caregiver, so I imagine her absence will dramatically change your day-to-day lives.
    My sincere condolences, and I’m raising a class to her 104 years on the planet.

  4. Frank and Jim:
    We were neighbors of your parents in the 1980’s. You couldn’t ask for better neighbors. They were very kind-hearted and always interested in our children. I will always remember them.

  5. I just saw this online and wanted to extend my condolences to the family. I will always remember my trips to College Station as a child to visit my aunt and uncle, often spending time with Mary and her family. She was always so gracious, even opening her home to my family on one occasion, as there was no room at my aunt and uncle’s. Mary was my aunt’s best friend for over 80 years and will always be fondly remembered.

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