Lorie Kleiner Eckert was born the second of two children to Rose and Morrie
Kleiner in St. Louis, Missouri, on February 12, 1952. She graduated from the
University City School District in St. Louis, then moved on to attend the
University of Missouri, both at the St. Louis and Columbia, Missouri, campuses
to eventually earn her degree in education Magna Cum Laude.
In 1973, Lorie married Stefan Eckert. Due to changes in her husband's
career, they moved to San Diego, California, in 1975, to Los Angeles,
California, in 1976, and to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1983. They had one baby per
city. Lorie was now the mother of three.
Before the birth of her children, Lorie had worked as a civil servant. She
was employed with the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, Missouri,
and then for the Veteran's Administration Regional Office in San Diego. Her
working days were short because it was both hers and Stefan's desire that she
be an “at home mother” for their children. Thus, when her first child
arrived, she went into “retirement.”
During those years she did extensive volunteer work, mostly within her
children's school district. She spent many years as a representative to the
Board of Education. She served on a planning commission committee that studied
the facility needs of the district and proposed the building of a new school to
the board. She served on the parents' committee of that new school when it was
built and designed a major fund raising project for it, a Signature Tile Wall,
that was a medallion quilt made of tile instead of fabric. She also did a
variety of other volunteer jobs such as serving on the board at her temple, and
teaching reading to adults at her local vocational school.
In 1993, she separated from her husband and found herself in need of gainful
employment. She decided to turn her hobby of quilt-making into a paid
profession. Toward that goal, she designed a series of quilts with words pieced
into the design. Her goal was to be a paid lecturer within the quilting
community. When she completed her series of quilts, however, she realized that
its message, the journey toward self-acceptance and love, was a universal one.
Thus she began lecturing to a wide variety of organizations—women's clubs,
retirement communities, spiritual retreat centers, colleges and universities,
etc. This led to her first book, With This Ring I Journey, published by Pelican.