Remembering Barbara (Wilson) Eccles, 1931-2020

It is with deep regret that the Meadow Brook Hall community shares the passing of Barbara (Wilson) Eccles, adopted daughter of Matilda Dodge Wilson and Alfred Wilson, on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, at 88 years old.

“We are all—staff, volunteers and supporters—very saddened by Barbara (Wilson) Eccles passing,” said Geoff Upward, executive director of Meadow Brook Hall. “Having grown up on the estate with her older brother, Richard, she played a significant role in Meadow Brook’s story from the 1930’s through the 1950’s.”

Barbara came to Meadow Brook as an infant in 1931, shortly after The Hall opened in 1929. She grew up as a loving part of the Dodge and Wilson families, alongside adopted brother Richard and Dodge siblings Frances and Daniel.

Barbara experienced many of her life’s milestones at Meadow Brook—including her debutant ball in 1950, her wedding to Thomas Eccles in 1953, and even returned home to The Hall with her children, grandchildren, and brother Richard to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Barbara was the mother of five (Richard, Andrew, Sandra, Wendy and Thomas) and spent most of her adult life in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“We were fortunate to have known her and to have talked with her at length about her experiences with her parents, siblings and estate staff, many of which were captured in print, photographs, home movies and video. Her vivid memory and forthright storytelling will always be treasured at Meadow Brook as we seek to interpret and share the legacy of one of our region’s most impactful families,” Upward continued.

“But, even more importantly, we have lost a dear friend and Meadow Brook will never feel quite the same.”

Please join us in remembering Barbara Wilson, her life and impact on the Great Estate.

To honor Barbara’s memory, the flag above Meadow Brook Hall has been lowered to half mast.