John E. Eckerle M.D. passed from this life to eternal life on July 23, 2020, at the age of 95.
He was born in Jasper.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Anton J. and Rosina Fink Eckerle, his sisters and their spouses, Rita Hahn (Gene), Dora Schmitt (Bandy), Joan Schipp (Rich), his brothers and their spouses, Herb Eckerle (Martha), Arnie Eckerle (Irene), Bernard Eckerle (Leona), Richard Eckerle (Romeldia), three nephews, Charles Eckerle (Godchild), Gerald and Kenneth Hahn and his niece, Janice Eckerle Kaye.
John was a faithful member of the Roman Catholic Church. In his early years he was an altar boy and Master of Ceremony under Father Roman and sang in the eight-voice men and boys choir under Frank Loepker, organist at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, IN He was a 1942 graduate of Jasper High School.
John was a charter member of the Jasper High School Band and Orchestra, playing the French horn. He was also a member of the Jasper Municipal (City) Band under the direction of Leo Durlauf and the Haysville Band.
During World War II, John served as a German interpreter in the POW camps in America and was an administrative NCO. For his meritorious service he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
He was a proud 1949 graduate and lifelong supporter of Purdue University where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree, was active in student government and was a member of the military marching band.
John obtained his Doctor of Medicine in 1958 from the University of Louisville. He did his hospital residency at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Dayton, OH.
Dr. Eckerle served as Medical Director at Reynolds Metal Co. in Louisville, KY. During that time he was instrumental in organizing the first Governor’s Conference on Occupational Health and Safety in the state of Kentucky. For this effort, he was awarded a membership in the Royal Order of Kentucky Colonels. He also served on the Kentucky Governor’s Council on Alcoholism in Industry. Other medical endeavors included surgical thoracic assistant, Silvercrest Hospital, New Albany, IN, and staff physician at Dupont Chemical Co. and General Electric Appliance Park.
Dr. Eckerle established a primary care office of medicine on Frankfort Ave. in Louisville, KY, a solo practice he sustained in excess of 30 years. During this time he served on the Executive Committee of St. Anthony Hospital, Louisville, KY, where he treated his patients. He was also a member of the medical staff of Kentucky Baptist, Highland Baptist, Baptist East and Suburban Hospitals, all in Louisville, KY.
Dr. John was an avid family genealogist, searching for his family ancestral home. After many years of research and with the help of Lillian Doane, Jasper librarian, he found his great grandfather’s, John George Eckerle citizenship application to the U.S., which stated his place of birth as Pfaffenweiler, in the Duchee of Baden Germany. In 1978 Dr. John traveled to Pfaffenweiler Germany. With the help of Luise Eichhorn, John discovered he was the first direct descendant of the 11 families which had traveled from Pfaffenweiler to Jasper in 1847 to return to the home village.
Dr. Eckerle is survived by his wife of 70 years, M. Margaret Davis Eckerle, his children, Diane Eckerle, John D. Eckerle (Sheila Lee), Judy E. Quinlan (Tom), Bruce T. Eckerle (Kim) and his heart-adopted son, Charlie Bacigalupi, seven grandchildren, Jennifer M. Kessler (Kelly), Nathan F. Johnson (Lauren Gawthrop), Claire Quinlan, Colleen Quinlan (Jon Olsen, fiancé), Trey Quinlan (Giselle), Christin Eckerle, Catherine Eckerle and many cherished nieces, nephews and their families.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper, with burial to follow in Fairview Cemetery in Jasper. The VFW Post #673 will conduct military gravesite rites. Masks and social distancing guidelines will be required in church.
Because of virus restrictions, there will be no visitation before church.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial donations can be made to St. Joseph Church Maintenance Fund, Eternal Word Television Network, specifying daily Mass broadcasts, 5817 Old Leeds Rd., Irondale, AL 35210, Jasper VFW Post #673 or your favorite charity.
Online condolences may be made at www.becherkluesner.com