Young artist dedicates painting in memory of longtime church member and volunteer

| 22 Feb 2012 | 05:06

Monroe - Laura Ann Chalupa, a sophomore at Monroe-Woodbury High School, recently dedicated her oil painting of the Monroe United Methodist Church in memory of R. Thomas Eikhof. Eikhof, who passed away Jan. 30, 2011, at the age of 90, was a longtime member of the church. He served on many committees and commissions, including as a trustee for the Hudson West District of the New York Annual Conference of the Methodist Church. In the 1960s, the members of the church recognized the need for more space for a growing congregation. Under Eikhof’s supervision, he and his good friends, Johnny Heins, Dick Mainey, Joey Knape, Bill Dise as well as others, spent almost every weekend, and any free evening they could, constructing a new education building. When construction was completed in 1966, the church community made the decision to name the building the R. Thomas Eikhof Education Building as a way to honor his spirit of volunteerism, leadership and hard work. The Educational Building has been home to community mission programs and church family programs such as Nora’s Hope Chest Thrift Store, AA, Monroe Food Pantry, Crop Walk, Girl Scouts, to name a few. For more than 20 years, it also has been the home of the Creative Christian Preschool. Now 15, Chalupa has been painting since the age of 10 under the instruction of Joan Keefer. She has painted in oil her family house, and also the John C. DeAngelis Town Hall, in memory of her grandfather.