Wilda May Eicher

Obituary of Wilda May Eicher

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Wilda May (Gurley) Eicher, who preferred to be called Billie, was born to Roger K. and Wanda C. Gurley in Syracuse, NY on July 1, 1924. Most of her growing-up years were spent in Chatham, NJ. In high school she played French horn in the orchestra and band, and provided piano accompaniment for the choir, girls' glee club, and even the boys' glee club. She majored in Music Education at Trenton State College, where she met Edward F J Eicher. They were married nine days after her graduation. During World War II, the Navy sent Ed overseas, and Billie taught music in the public schools of Plainfield and Newton, NJ. After the war they spent two years in Atlantic City, where daughter Linda was born; and many years in Bergen County, NJ where Ed was a public school music supervisor and Billie taught private piano lessons. There they had another daughter, Nancy, and a son, Eddie. They moved to Princeton, NJ in 1961, when Ed was asked to develop a degree program in music education at Westminster Choir College. In the early seventies, a temporary job at Opinion Research Corporation developed into a career in survey research. Eventually Billie became research director and editor of the twelve to eighteen reports published annually by her department. Over the years Billie was always active in her church (most recently Princeton United Methodist), and volunteered for the Red Cross, the "Grandpals" program at Littlebrook Elementary School in Princeton, and the International Center's English Conversation Tutoring Program at Princeton University. She was predeceased by her husband Ed and her daughter Nancy. She will be sorely missed by her children, Linda Nicholls, and Eddie and Pam Eicher; by her grandchildren, Russell and Elisabeth Nicholls, Debbie and Brittan Riesse, Harry and Jenny Lafferty, and Erica Labar; and her eight great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home from 3:00 to 5:00 on Saturday, July 19. A memorial service will be held at Princeton United Methodist Church at 3:00 on Saturday, July 26. Contributions in Billie's memory may be made to Princeton United Methodist Church or the American Cancer Society.
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Wilda May