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Fay L. Eckman, storyteller, bookstore employee

Sept. 4, 1938 – Oct. 28, 2014

Fay L. Eckman, a popular children’s storyteller and bookstore employee, died Oct. 28. She was 76.

Born Fay Sangrey in Millersville, Pa., Mrs. Eckman was a magna cum laude graduate of the University at Buffalo. She lived in Amherst for more than 40 years.

Mrs. Eckman was better known as “Grandma Fay” by customers of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Amherst, where she began working 22 years ago. She rose to the level of local celebrity when she began leading the children’s storytime in 2001, sharing her love of books with budding readers.

She also shares another legacy with her late husband, Jerry Eckman. The couple founded the Amherst Soccer Association in 1978, which has grown to serve more than 2,300 young athletes. They also helped establish the annual Amherst Invitational Memorial Cup tournament.

When she was younger, Mrs. Eckman was active in the arts – singing, dancing and performing in plays. She continued that enjoyment by attending Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concerts and other events, and she remained an avid reader.

She is survived by two sons, Eric and Kyle, and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Amherst Memorial Chapel of Audubon Funeral Home, 281 Dodge Road, Getzville.

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