Family memorializes matriarch’s love of Hoffman Hall with donation

In memory of Virginia Eichman, a Prairie du Chien resident and patron/volunteer at Hoffman Hall, her family contributed over $6,400 to the Hoffman Hall Capital Campaign recently. Pictured (from left) are Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich, staff member Janet Paulson, family members Jarod Bufe, Carol Eichmann-Bufe holding Jackson Bufe, Edgar Eichmann, Mary Byron, Laura Eichmann, staff member Megan Pedretti and staff member Suzette Cunningham. (Photo by Correne Martin)

By Correne Martin

The family of Virginia Eichmann, a longtime Hoffman Hall patron and volunteer who passed away in January, presented a donation in her memory recently to be used toward continued improvements at the recreation center. Eichmann, who was a Prairie du Chien resident, participated in many water aerobics classes as well as arts and crafts shows at the facility, while also volunteering her time as a staff member there.

Virginia’s husband, Edgar, as well as three of her kids and a grandson, informally presented over $6,400 to Prairie du Chien Parks and Recreation Director Mike Ulrich Feb. 21 at Hoffman Hall. The money came from her memorial service, with a match from the investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs, where one of the daughters is employed. A plaque on the donor wall memorializes Eichmann.

Virginia and Edgar, a retired librarian and heavy equipment mechanic, moved to Prairie du Chien from Postville, Iowa, in 2007.

Megan Pedretti, who instructs deep and shallow water aerobics at Hoffman Hall, remembers Virginia getting involved in the community right away upon coming to town. She knew someone who was participating in fitness classes at the rec center and decided to check it out. “She was passionate about [her health and coming here],” Pedretti said. “She was a lot of fun to have in class.”

Virginia also donated a quilt to an arts and crafts fair at Hoffman Hall and it just so happened that Pedretti won it.

After last summer, Virginia’s health got in the way of participating in classes. “She just couldn’t enjoy it anymore,” said friend and Hoffman Hall’s Fitness/Aquatics Coordinator Suzette Cunningham.

In meeting with Virginia’s biological family as well as her Hoffman Hall family, it’s clear she was an unforgettable woman and that her presence is strongly missed.

The Eichmanns have seven kids, who grew up in Postville, and eight grandkids. The family is pleased to make the donation in honor of their matriarch.

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