In Memorium: Deborah Stark Ecker, 96 – Memorial Set for Saturday, March 4


The following is from the announcement of Deborah Stark Ecker’s obituary in The Concord Bridge. The Owl did not know Ms. Ecker who had moved from Weston by the time she arrived in 2014. I do know I would have liked her, especially for her work on the preservation of land in the town of Weston. We (and I mean the collective “we” Weston) have little idea now how much we owe our beautiful tree-filled conservation space to these early members of the Conservation Commission and the Weston Forest & Trail Association. Rest easy, Deborah, and walk some new trails for us wherever you are.


Deborah Stark Ecker died on February 19, 2023, at the age of 96. The cause of death was cancer from Melanoma.

Deborah was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1927. She married Hoyt Ecker in 1949 and they lived in Weston between 1957 – 1998, where they had three children. Hoyt predeceased Deborah in October 2017, after 68 years of marriage.

Deborah graduated from Vassar College and received a master’s degree from Brandeis University. It was her Vassar economics professor who directed her to the League of Women’s Voters, saying she had “an obligation to put to use her good education.”

Deborah was president of the local League of Women Voters, a member of the Town’s Conservation Commission, and of the Finance Committee for two separate terms. Her major volunteer work was on the board of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, where she chaired the Fiscal Policy study.

Through her long-held position with the state League of Women Voters, she became an expert in the state’s fiscal affairs and was appointed to important positions by three Massachusetts governors. She commuted into the city to work for the state Executive and was proud to be able to implement the League’s position into government policies.

After Deborah stepped down as President of the local League of Women Voters, the town Moderator Richard Fields appointed her to the Weston Finance Committee where she was the first woman in the town’s history to serve on that committee. She was an early member of the Conservation Commission, during the years when founding members (Dr. Elliston, Stanley French, and Buzz Willis) sought donations of land and trail easements. Deborah had fond memories of walking on the Weston Forest and Trail Association network of trails.

The Eckers enjoyed their 41 years in Weston. They were avid sailors and cruised the Atlantic coast. In the early 1990s they arrived via the Intracoastal in Vero Beach and bought a condominium. After Hoyt’s death in 2017, she met her new partner, Dr. Donald P. Goldstein, also of Weston, with whom she resided at Newbury Court in Concord. They enjoyed traveling and mutual cultural activities.

Deborah will be remembered for her fiscal policy efforts that placed value on the democracy of small-town government and were deeply committed to environmental issues in each of the towns where she lived. While in Concord, Deborah chaired the Residents’ Executive Committee and the Trails Committee at Newbury Court which at the time of her death was installing an ‘All Persons’ trail.

Besides Dr. Goldstein she leaves daughters Emily Ecker (Marcel Polak) and Ellen Ecker Ogden, son Samuel H. Ecker (Shelley Ecker), five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held at Newbury Court in Concord on Saturday, March 4th, and in Chatham, Massachusetts in June. Donations can be made in her name to the First Parish Church of Weston.

Service Information


March 04, 2023, at 2:00 PM

Newbury Court Chapel 80 Deaconess Rd. Concord MA 01742

One comment

  • Joel Angiolillo

    We give thanks to Deborah Ecker, whether we knew her or not, every time we walk in the Weston woods. Wish I knew her.

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