With loved ones by her side, Eloise Cecka went home to be with Jesus on April 5th, 2021. She was born on Jan. 18, 1937, in the rural community of Uriah, Ala., to parents James and Marie (née Davis) McDonald and was raised by her loving grandparents Leaner and Rob Davis. She married her first husband in 1957 and had two children, Randy Koch and Charlotte (née Koch) Eubanks. After moving to Rockford, in 1964, Eloise met and married the love of her life, Don Cecka; together, they had one daughter, Tina (née Cecka) Isaacs. She and Don owned several local restaurants, loved to travel, and enjoyed life happily together in Byron, until Don’s passing in 1999.
Eloise loved to spend time with her family and was an active participant in her church; she loved people and made many friends wherever she went. She especially loved spending time at the ocean where she enjoyed gulf shrimp and red snapper. Some of her favorite memories were taking her grandkids on vacations when they were little. When she wasn’t at the beach, she enjoyed spending her summer afternoons in her daughter Tina’s backyard, sipping on sweet tea, playing a game of cards, and enjoying a meal with her family. One of her grandkids’ favorite memories is when she would sing Lavender Blue to them as children. In recent years, she liked to keep up with everyone on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. She provided a lot of comic relief in learning to use social media in her mid 70’s.
She relished the small joys in life; calling to check in on friends and family, attending school events when her grandchildren were growing up, watching birds and squirrels in her yard, shopping trips, eating cheeseburgers with Dr. Pepper, listening to Scotty McCreery and Darius Rucker, trips to the casino, babysitting her granddog Emmi, and watching game shows—especially “The Wheel.”
In recent years, while Parkinson’s limited her ability to get around by herself, she never lost her vibrant spirit or missed the chance to go out on an adventure with the people she held dear. She was deeply grateful for the care and friendship of those who helped her as her health declined; their support enabled her to continue living at home where she was comfortable.
Eloise will be lovingly remembered by her children, Tina Isaacs of Byron, Charlotte Eubanks of Rochelle, and Randy Koch of Rockford; her son-in-law, Todd Isaacs of Byron; her seven grandchildren, Brexton Isaacs (fiancé Annie Kehler)of Byron, Baylie Isaacs (fiancé Brett Cason) of Knoxville, Tenn., Schawn (née Rettinger) Oberfoell (Mike) of Hebron, Ky., Tracy (née Rettinger) Tschudi (Tom) of Dubuque, Iowa, R.J. Rettinger Oregon, Mark Rettinger (Kendra) of Dubuque, Iowa, and Cody Koch of Rockford; her 10 great grandchildren; and her first great-great grandchild who she was excited to meet in July of 2021. She will also be lovingly remembered by Aunt Myrtle Fuller of Lillian, Ala.; her siblings and their spouses Mamie Wright (Don) of Brockwell, Ark., Mona Lusk of Bay Minette, Ala., and Pam Schultz (John)of Jacksonville, Fla.; several nieces and nephews; and countless friends and wonderful neighbors.
Eloise has been reunited with those who preceded her, including her parents; her grandparents; a wonderful step-mother Carrie Mabrey; her daughter Debbie; her siblings Jimmy McDonald, James McDonald, John McDonald, and Ann Sims; her grandpuppy Lily; and her beloved husband, Don Cecka.
She is now walking on the beach with Don, sand between their toes, and looking over their family.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Beacon Hill Church (6467 N German Church Rd, Byron, IL 61010) at 9:30 a.m., followed by a celebration of life at 10:30 a.m.