John "Jack" A. Eckardt, 90, Merrill, died Wednesday, September 4, 2019 under the care of Heartland Hospice Care and his family, at Azura Memory Care, Wausau. Jack was born on June 27, 1929 to the late Anton and Caroline (Ecker) Eckardt in Birnamwood. He married Patricia (Bychinski) on October 10, 1953 in Wausau. She preceded him in death after 61 years of marriage, on July 4, 2015.
Jack briefly attended St. Nazianz Seminary. Fortunately, he was not able to pass Latin and returned home. A few years later he met his one and only "Patsy" and they worked together to build a farm and family. She was the leader and he was happy to be the follower. Along the way, they ran a feeder pig business and grew ginseng. Jack was also the Town of Maine Constable for 16 years and a lifelong defender of the Democratic Party. Jack loved his family and friends. His favorite pastimes were playing Sheepshead, fishing, and napping…that he could do anytime, anywhere and under any circumstance. He gardened like no other. Jack loved people and particularly his brother, Bob. They were a priceless example of unconditional love. In over 80+ years there was never a cross word between them. He may not have been rich financially but was beyond wealthy in friends, family and fish. Jack was gifted at helping people feel comfortable. Whether that meant giving them a special nickname, playing a practical joke, or frying up a plate of potatoes to share, he found true joy connecting with people. There were always a cast of characters stopping by or playing in card parties at their farm with the barn that had the Chips sign painted on the back. Jack was very proud of having the barn painted for free and even getting $50 to boot! Jack will be truly missed.
Survivors include his two daughters, Sally (Bill) Gau, Wausau and Mary (Doug) Seidl, Mount Horeb; his son, Michael (Elizabeth) Eckardt, Merrill; eight grandchildren; and his brother, Bob (Rose) Eckardt, Merrill. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Carol.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at Church of St. Anne 700 W. Bridge Street, Wausau. Rev. Tom Lindner will preside. Burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery, Village of Maine, following the service. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Wausau is in charge of the arrangements.