Indianapolis philanthropist Eccles dies at 76

Margot Lacy Eccles died Monday at the age of 76.

An Indianapolis philanthropist and supporter of the arts in the city passed away Monday.

Margot Lacy Eccles, 76, was vice president of community and shareholder relations for LDI Ltd., a company founded by her grandfather, Howard Lacy. She worked her way through the company for more than 30 years before being chosen to lead community relations for the firm in 1983, the company said in a release Monday.

Eccles, known as "Mrs. E" to many, held leadership positions with numerous foundations and committees around Indianapolis. She was an ardent supporter of the arts, sponsoring the annual "Young Playwrights in Process" program for students in grades 6-12. In March, LDI announced a $1.2 million gift to 16 Indianapolis arts and cultural organizations, encouraging the groups to "dream big" with projects that would engage the community.

"I'm profoundly saddened at the passing of my sister and greatest supporter, Margot," LDI Chairman of the Board Andre Lacy wrote in the company's release. "My loss and that of the Eccles and Lacy family is shared by all at LDI, Ltd., by countless friends and colleagues throughout central Indiana and across the country, by patrons and supporters of the arts here in Indianapolis and around the globe, and by all in our community who, like Margot, believe in aspiring and working to make this world a better place for all those who share it and all those who will follow. Margot's spirit will live on forever in the art and culture of our community, in the work she supported and in the lives she inspired. She will be deeply missed and forever loved."

"She was an ardent advocate who was heavily involved with various aspects of Indiana Black Expo - particularly the Dance Diaspara scholarship fundraising event," IBE President and CEO Tanya Bell said. "She was a tremendous contributor to the success of the Summer Celebration Cultural Arts Pavilion."

A celebration of Eccles' life will be held Friday (June 29) at the Hilbert Circle Theater. Her family requests that gifts be made in her honor to the Lacy Foundation as directed gifts to the arts.

Statement from Scott Miller, President of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, on the passing of Margot Lacy Eccles:

"We are deeply saddened by the news of Margot Lacy Eccles' passing. Mrs. Eccles provided immeasurable contributions to the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series (SKL), including developing the program in 1976 and encouraging young professionals ever since to become more informed about the issues and needs facing Central Indiana and more engaged in the community. Mrs. E had a sincere interest in stewardship and the welfare of our community as evidenced by her numerous leadership roles. She has helped to pave the way for future generations of leaders and her legacy will live on."