Rebecca Eckelbecker

August 18, 1941 - December 30, 2017
Paw Paw, MI



Saturday, August 18, 2018
2:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3870

A reception will follow at the funeral home. Light refreshments will be served.

Driving Directions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Rose Arbor Hospice
5473 Croyden Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
(269) 345-8910
Driving Directions
Web Site

Otsego Schools Backpack Buddies program at Dix Street Elementary School
503 Dix Street
Otsego, MI 49078
(269) 692-6099


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Age 76, died December 30, 2017 after a valiant fight with cancer. She was born August 18, 1941 to William and Nettie (Swartwood) Cowley in Kittanning, PA. She was the 10th of 11 children and the youngest daughter. At the age of 3, the family moved to Oshtemo and she resided on the family farm at the corner of 4th Street and KL Avenue until married in 1958, and then built a home on a corner of the property where they raised their children.

She was blessed to be a homemaker through most of her children’s school years, which allowed her to help out at school and become a “jack of all trades” on their small hobby farm. Being terrified of horses didn’t stop her from nursing the animals when they became sick or injured, and helping with Clyde’s six pony hitch. She would occasionally work as a substitute playground aide or picking fruits from the local farmers for extra money during the summers. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t do and could be seen helping bale hay, in the kitchen canning or braiding horses tails for show. Visitors to her table for coffee were often served fresh baked cookies.

She would later serve as community leader for the Oshtemo 4-H group, and as secretary for the Southwest Michigan Pony Teamsters. Having given up high school to care for her elderly mother, she received her Diploma from Otsego High School at the age of 50.

She became a foster parent in the mid 1990’s, falling in love with every child who walked through her doors and in 1996, they adopted two of their foster children (Sarah and Benjamin).

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clyde (2010); sons: Clyde II (1984) and Robert (1987); and several siblings. She is survived by her 3 children: Theresa (Scott) Paddock of Kalamazoo, Sarah (Mike) Perkins of Kalamazoo and Benjamin Eckelbecker of Paw Paw; 6 grandchildren: Eric Paddock of North Carolina, Nick Paddock, Kaitlin Sandlin, Amelia King, Rebecca Kirscher and Emma Perkins all of Kalamazoo; 5 great grandchildren; Makayla, Tyler, Abigail, Aher and Evie; her lifetime best friend, Carol (LaVerne) Boerman; special friend, Phil; and three brothers: Elmer, David and Jim Cowley.

Services will be held Saturday, August 18 at 2 PM at Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy (269) 657-3870 followed by a light reception at the funeral home. Please visit Rebecca's personal web page at, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Friends and family wishing to make donations in her honor may donate to Rose Arbor Hospice or Otsego Schools Backpack Buddies at Dix Street Elementary (a program to ensure children will not go hungry). Becky was passionate in her donations for feeding children.