Eichacker, Lois H., 1932-
- Existence: 1932-
Lois Ann Eichacker was born on November 25, 1932, in Keokuk, Iowa, the third of Lillie G. Harper and Dr. Harry D. Harper's five children. She attended St. Joseph's School and graduated from Fort Madison High School in 1950. After attending the University of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa, she graduated from Ohio State University in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in general social studies. From 1957 to 1959 she worked as a therapist at Columbus (Ohio) Psychiatric Hospital for Children. In 1960 Eichacker was employed as a caseworker at the Cook County Psychopathic Hospital in Chicago. She married George Eichacker, former chairman of the board and president of Keokuk Federal Savings and Loan Bank. They have three children.
Eichacker spent her professional career at the Southeast Iowa Community Action Organization, Inc. (SEICAO), a four-county agency of the federal government's Office of Economic Opportunity. In 1967 she was appointed the agency's coordinator in Lee County. She became the neighborhood center director for SEICAO in 1970, two years later, the Deputy Director and in 1974, the executive director. After fifteen years in that position, she retired in 1989. The Iowa Community Action Neighborhood Center in Fort Madison was named in her honor.
Among her numerous organizational positions, Eichacker has served as chair for the Iowa Commission on Community Action Agencies; vice chair of the Iowa Department of Economic Development and the University of Iowa Black Alumni Association; and president of the University of Iowa Alumni Association's Board of Directors (1995.) Eichacker was the first African American to serve as president. In 1997 she was appointed to the Friends Advisory Board of the University of Iowa Libraries. She has been active on many state boards and councils, as well as Community-action State, regional and national associations. Honored widely for her contributions to her community and the state, Eichacker was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1994 and received the University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999.