Jessie Jones Eckhart, 94, pilot, WWII flight instructor, enjoyed oil painting and skiing, avid scrapbooker

By on March 20, 2019


Jessie Jones Eckhart, 94, of Lititz, passed away March 18, 2019 at Brethren Village. She was an amazing daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Her life was dedicated to her family, friends and flying.

Born in Pughtown, she was the daughter of the late Jesse P. and Reba S. Morrison Jones. She was the wife of the late Dr. Howard D. Eckhart, who passed away on Dec. 24, 2014.

Jessie was the daughter of aviation pioneer Jesse P. Jones of Lancaster. She learned to fly airplanes before she received her driver’s license. She had a passion for flying her entire life and soloed at the age of 16 as a junior in high school.

After graduating from J.P. McCaskey High School in 1941, Jessie attended Penn State for one year studying art education prior to becoming a flight instructor. She worked for the Navy and Army Government Contract Schools as a flight instructor during, and after, World War II.

She was a member of Aero Club of Lancaster, former member of Lancaster Country Club, 99 Club (a women’s pilot club) and the Chi Omega Sorority at Penn State.

Her hobbies included oil painting, traveling with her husband Howard in their airplanes, skiing, hunting, embroidery, and she was an avid scrapbooker.

Her survivors include two sons: Dr. Michael P. Eckhart, husband of Deborah L. of Lancaster; and David J. Eckhart, husband of Mary Loughead of Pottstown; six grandchildren: Stephanie L., wife of Adam Cahoon of Lancaster; Suzanne C. Eckhart of New York, N.Y.; Kate E., wife of Max Flessner of Mechanicsburg; Dr. Jennifer E. Eckhart of Lancaster; Derek D., husband of Ceren Eckhart of Los Angeles, Calif.; and Jake Eckhart of Pottstown; and one great-granddaughter: Avaleigh K. Cahoon. She is also survived by her sister: A. Carolyn Carter-Shultz of Lititz.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Dr. Howard D. Eckhart; her son: Howard S. Eckhart; and her sister: Helen J. Carter.

A memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 Delp Road, Lancaster, on Thursday, March 21, at 1:30 p.m. A visitation will be held from 11:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be private in Lincoln Cemetery.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit Arrangements by DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, Lancaster.

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One Comment

  1. Pat Crognale

    March 20, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    Mike and family– our deepest sympathy on the death of your mother. Steve, Pat and Melissa Crognale

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