Richard L. Eckerle, 88, Jasper

richard-eckerleRichard L. Eckerle, 88, of Jasper, died Tuesday (December 6) at St. Charles Health Campus in Jasper. He was born in Jasper October 5, 1928, to Anton and Rose (Fink)  Eckerle. He married Romilda Eckerle September 23, 1947, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Huntingburg. She died October 16, 2010.

Rich was co-owner, with his brother Arnold, of the Eckerle Dairy which operated from 1951 to 1965. He retired as property manager from Kimball International where he was responsible for planning, supervising, and construction of the Kimball  Building Program, Kimball Forestry Program, Kimball Corporate Headquarter  Maintenance, and Kimball Farms.

He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, serving as a parish counselor from 1961 to 1965. He served on the Knights of Columbus Columbian Home Board for 23 years; 10 years as president. He was the K of C Grand Knight from 1966 to 1967 and was Faithful Navigator, Jasper 4th Degree Knight, from 1972 to1973. He was president of the Jasper Jaycees from 1959 to 1960 and president of the Jaycees Associate Members Club from 1980 to 1982. He served on OEO Tri-Cap Board for 15 years and was the board president for five years. He served on the Jasper Little League Board for 10 years, two years as president. He also served as president of the Greater Jasper Consolidated School Building Corporation. He served as Dubois County Commissioner from 1961 to 1970, eight years as president. He served as County Councilman from 1974 to 1982, six years as president, and from 1991 to 2004, as president from 1993 to 2004. During his time on the council he was involved in making the South Newton Street and North Mill Street extensions a reality. He served as president of the Indiana County Commissioner Association and the Indiana County Councilman Association.

He was president of the Association of Indiana County Officials in 1970, served on the Indiana Local Government Study Commission from 1977 to 1980, served on the Indiana Long Term Highway Finance Study Commission from 1977 to 1978, served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972 and 1976, on the Dubois County Health Board for 12 years, and on the Shawnee Trace Private Industry Council for 10 years. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the Indiana Local Government Property Tax Control Board, his service ending in 2004. He was a recipient of several Jaycee Awards, the Jasper Distinguished Service Award in 1961, the Golden Ruler Award, presented by the Association of Indiana Counties for dedicated service to County Government, in 1970, Jasper High School Alumni of Distinction Award in 1991, Indiana Association of Counties Arthur R. Himsel Award in  1996, Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Governor Evan Bayh in 1996, and the Jasper Chamber of Commerce President’s Community Excellence Award in 1991. He enjoyed serving Dubois County, was an avid St. Louis Cardinals and Indiana University fan and enjoyed spending time with his family.

He is survived by two sons, Mark Eckerle and wife, Amelia, Indianapolis, and Greg Eckerle and wife, Brenda, Jasper; four grandchildren, Nichole Eckerle Rubright, Jessica and Shannon Eckerle, and Margot Burke; and one brother, Dr. John Eckerle and wife Margaret, Louisville, Kentucky.

In addition to his parents and wife he was preceded in death by three sisters, Rita Hahn, Dora Schmidt, and Joan Schipp, and three brothers, Herb, Bernard, and Arnold Eckerle.

Friends may call from 3-8 p.m. Friday at the Becher-Kluesner North Chapel in Jasper.  Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Church or to a favorite charity. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church with burial following in Fairview Cemetery.

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