About the Authors
Norma Eckard (left) earned her Doctorate from the University of Maryland and her MA from West Virginia University. She began her career in public education followed by an Assistant Professorship at North Carolina State University and Campbell University. Presently she works with nonprofits in WV providing scholarships for middle school students learning leadership skills and supports scholarships for women through the Philanthropic Educational Organization in NC. Norma is active in the Brunswick Town Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and is president of the Friends of Fort Caswell Rifle Range.
Ronald Eckard (right) was an Advisory Software Development Engineer at the IBM facility in Research Triangle Park for 32 years. Following a lifetime of researching and exploring his home state of West Virginia with his wife and children, upon retiring he launched into full time research into his family's immigration to the United States. Determined to learn more about the forgotten community of Limerock, West Virginia, he and Norma, along with Amy and husband Sam and their two very small children Shaun and Christine, hiked several miles into the forest to view the ruins. After 20 years of research in courthouses and hiking through abandoned sites, he published the book in 2013, Eckards: From the Rhine to Limerock, that resulted in the initiation of a Limerock reunion back home in West Virginia.
Amy Eckard has a MS degree in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University. After retirement from a career in the computer industry, Amy became the webmaster, researcher, and lead writer for the family effort. Amy was motivated by her interest to preserve the personal memories and experiences of those men and women who have faded from sight. She drew inspiration from the stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances. In co-authoring this book, Amy pored over World War I historical documents, especially those detailing the engineering units within the divisions. She was particularly inspired by both the nurses and the African American combat units, which led to increased opportunities in the military for women and minorities.
With a lifetime of enjoying history, the discovery of the rifle range in Ron and Norma’s neighborhood led them on this quest, dedicating the preservation of the rifle range to the World War I veterans of Brunswick County. Their goal was to create a book that is well researched and supported by numerous historical documents as references. While researching the Brunswick County World War I veterans, Norma, Ron, Amy, husband Sam and children Shaun and Michelle visited cemeteries to locate gravesites which had no online photographs. Those veterans wounded, awarded medals, and died while serving were prioritized. Gravesites for all but one veteran who died while serving were located.