(1931-2020) Vero Beach, Florida, was the birthplace – and the site of a very happy childhood – for Viola Mary Eckhoff, who would go on to become Sister Imelda Marie. Viola Mary was the fourth child, and the third girl, born to Joseph and Viola (Dothage) Eckhoff on October 24, 1931. Her older siblings were Marilyn, Evelyn, and Joe, with Carole the youngest in the family. Sister Imelda recalled in her 2019 “A Sister’s Story” video that Vero Beach had much open land in those days, and she and the other children spent much of their time hiking as well as fishing and swimming, They were good times, she recalled, even if her childhood did come during the Great Depression and the family did not have much. At Christmas, she wrote in her autobiography, each child would get one present, and for the Christmas when she was perhaps three years old, all the girls got dolls and Joe got a ball. As the family would later tell the story, “I cried and said I didn’t want a dolly, I wanted a ball. Daddy went out on Christmas Day to find me a ball.” Read more about Sister Imelda (pdf) Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).