Buzz reader Elizabeth Atlee has shared with us the news of the passing of her mother, Consuelo Taracena Eckhardt, who died peacefully on May 28.
According to the obituary provided by Atlee, Consuelo:
“…was born in Mexico City on September 14, 1929 to Consuelo Taracena and Senator Antonio Taracena. Consuelo graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Letters from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM. She was honored there by her fellow students for her beauty and intelligence by being named the Reina de la Primavera (“Queen of the Springtime”). She continued her academics at UNAM and graduated with a master’s degree in interior architecture, and went on to work with world-renowned Architect Pedro Ramirez Vasquez in Mexico City.
In 1959 she married Thomas M. Eckhardt and went to live in San Bernardino, California, where they created a lovely family with her husband and his two children. Consuelo and Thomas had three children together.
In 1976, after the death of her husband, Consuelo resurrected her interior design career and founded Taracena Design Group. As the principal of Taracena Design Group, Consuelo was responsible for the development, design and actualization of many of her community’s most important cultural, civic and educational buildings including the award-winning, multi-functional, Norman F. Feldheym Central Library which opened to
the public on September 30, 1985; and the Law Libraries of San Bernardino County in San Bernardino and in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. In 1986, Consuelo stewarded an extensive public art program around and within the executive offices of the San Bernardino County Government Center. For these accomplishments Consuelo was selected as the Citizen of the Year by the Inland Empire Magazine.
Upon graduation of her youngest daughter from high school, Consuelo took her design practice to Newport Beach, California and ultimately retired to Los Angeles to help her daughter and son-in-law raise three of her beloved five grandchildren. She enjoyed the Los Angeles Philharmonic, viewing art exhibitions, literature; was fanatic about soccer, and loved fashion. She is survived by her daughters Chelo Eckhardt, Elizabeth Atlee, Carla Eckhardt and Sheridan Reed, her son William Eckhardt, her son-in-law Steve Atlee, her siblings Antonio and Berta Taracena, and her grandchildren Thomas, Grace and Eleanor Atlee and Jannah and Talal Eckhardt.”
Atlee further noted that her mother was a member of St. Brendan’s Church through the Atlee family, was active in a small local book group with friends, and helped several local clients with the designs of their homes. Many neighbors also knew her through her involvement with her grandchildren at St Brendan and Marlborough Schools.
According to Atlee, Eckhardt “was kind of everyone’s “Tita,” which is short for abuelita (grandmother in Spanish). We had about 180 people here for her celebration of life in our backyard after the (memorial) service. She wanted a party and so we had an all-female mariachi group and delicious Mexican food.”
In lieu of flowers, donations in Eckhardt’s memory can be made to Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) or Heart of LA (HOLA). Both organizations serve to inform and empower the strength and beauty of Latinosin Eckhardt’s adopted country, city and community.