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Joseph F. Eckerle, 91, Jasper

Joseph F. Eckerle, 91, of Jasper, died Monday (July 9) at his home. He was born in Jasper January 12, 1927, to Robert and Elizabeth (Lechner) Eckerle. He married Irene C. Kluemper August 25, 1953, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper.

Joe was a U.S. Army veteran and served in the Korean Conflict. He was a member of VFW Post No. 673, American Legion Post No. 147, and Disabled American Veterans Chapter No. 77 and its auxiliary. He retired from the Greater Jasper Consolidated School System, 5th Street School. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper and its Holy Name Society, Jasper Outdoor Recreation, and the Jasper DeutscherVerein. He was the Indiana State Commander of the Disabled American Veterans in 2006-2007. During those years he and his wife Irene were both State Commanders at the same time, which was a first for the state of Indiana.

Joe was active with the DAV Van Service, transporting veterans to hospitals and clinics. He served on the Color Guard for both the VFW and the American Legion for 21 years He received the Francis Polen Award, the Distinguished Hoosier Award, and the Dubois County Living Veteran Award. He and his wife received the Brute’ Award from the Diocese of Evansville and the German Heritage award. He enjoyed spending time with his grandsons and playing cards.

He is survived by his wife, Irene Eckerle; two daughters, Patricia Goepfrich and husband Thomas and Bonita “Bonnie” Gessner and husband Allan; one son, Charles “Chuck” Eckerle and wife Cheryl; two grandsons, Robert and Isaac Eckerle; two step grandchildren, Jennifer Gessner Speicher and Luke Gessner; three step great-grandchildren, Allayna and Madalyn Speicher and Calvin Gessner; and three brothers, Leo, George, and Donald Eckerle and wife Margaret, all of Jasper..

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by four brothers, Sylvester, Linus, Edwin, and Roman Eckerle, and two sisters, Georgina Detroy and Genevieve Frick.

Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Becher-Kluesner Northside Chapel in Jasper. Disabled American Veterans Chapter 77 will conduct a memorial service at 6:30 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Church, the Dubois County Community Foundation – Joseph F. and Irene C. Eckerle Family Endowment, or to a favorite charity. Online condolences can be shared at www.becherkluesner.com. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Church with entombment following in the Fairview Cemetery Mausoleum. VFW Post 673 and American Legion Post 147 will conduct military graveside rites.

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