May 15, 1931 – November 8, 2020
Lovingly Remembered ~ Frederick Eckert.
Sadly, after losing his dear wife, June, just 7 months ago, Fred Eckert passed away from complications of diabetes which compromised the function of his heart, kidney and liver. That is the medical description of his cause of death. Those who know this couple realize that Fred really died of a broken heart.
After a marriage of 67 years and with the challenges of being alone and lonely as Covid-19 kept family and friends from visiting him, Fred left this earthly life on Nov 8, 2020.
Now Fred is free from pain and health concerns. He is in his heavenly home with his beloved wife and their only child, Randy. Fred and June lived their lives as a devoted family of 3 – literally showing their son with special needs, the world. They were always together.
Fred was a loving husband and an amazing father. He was born during the depression in Brightwood, Alberta, to his hardworking parents, Asaph and Herta who had emigrated from Russia. He was the youngest of their 4 children – Ervin, Whitford, Violet, and Fred.
The “Dirty Thirties”on the prairies were hard years and even as a child, Fred was needed to help to provide for basic needs and survival of the family. Fred enjoyed playing sports in his school years and as a young man he was active in the German Baptist church of Onoway.
Fred’s schooling began in this farming area near Edmonton. He and his family moved to Chilliwack in 1947 where he continued his education at CHS and met June – both Albertans and newcomers to the Fraser Valley. Fred helped his Dad on the dairy farm milking cows each day before going to school.
After graduation Fred studied accounting by articling with a local firm and then and then established his own CPA business, Fred Eckert, Public Accountant.
He and June were married in First Baptist Church Chilliwack in 1953. They were blessed with the birth of their Son, in 1957.
Fred continued his accounting business until his retirement about 35 years ago with constant support from June who had graduated from Business College. They were always a team. Often at Income Tax season, Fred and June were “burning the midnight oil” at the office while Grace, a dear friend, “kept their home fires burning” and took care of Randy.
June was Chilliwack’s first majorette and led many parades in our city and around the province. Fred fell in love with her and supported her interest in the Drill Team and Accordion Band that she started. Fred was a member of Chilliwack Kiwanis Club for several years. He and June were active members of First Baptist Church where they were baptized in 1961. He was church treasurer for 40 years and they were both very active in worship, leadership, and 2nd Mile Club.
Their social life involved family and many lifelong friends they found along their “journey”. For the last 27 years, they worshipped at Broadway Church.
Fred and June graciously hosted celebrations – providing fabulous barbeques and banquets, having fun at birthdays and holiday celebrations, creating great memories for family and friends, while enjoying activities around their pool and in their home.
After their son was born, the couple both volunteered on the Board for Sunshine Drive School and Hostel which in later years became Chilliwack Opportunity Society. They supported other families with challenged children at a time when our society provided no education and very little medical help them, or respite from the demands of caring for them.
Children with special needs were “closeted” from the world. Fred and June took a lead in demonstrating unconditional love for their child and, as his parents, gave him the best they could offer. They showed by example how precious is the responsibility of raising a child.
These two always shared an interest in designing, building, remodelling, and landscaping their 4 homes (Williams, Macken Rosedale, and Sardis), Plaza 409 (a 4-plex), a duplex, a cottage at Cultus Lake, and the Nowell Centre (built by brother Whit). For a number of years June and Fred operated two beauty salons. They worked hard and were imaginative in their pursuits.
Fred and June loved to travel and were fortunate to have holiday homes to enjoy in North Vancouver and in Maui where they owned condos for over 20 years and which they lovingly shared with family members. They travelled with their son to Europe, to the Baltic and Russia, to Northern Africa, to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand, to Australia, Fiji, and the South Pacific Islands, to Alaska, Florida, Hawaii,Western USA, and across Canada. They really loved cruising.
Fred will be remembered as being a hardworking, serious, quiet, supportive, shy man who preferred working behind the scenes. He loved sharing memories and laughs with his brother, Whit. He was frugal, yet philanthropic and generous to causes, a great provider for his family, and loving. He and June made dreams come true, enjoyed jokes and making memories. Fred and June loved their nieces and nephews and were always interested in their lives.
Sometimes Fred and June acted like “the Godfather” – interested in and supportive of their lives, jobs, business ventures and their joys and sorrows – always supportive. Fred was a tender, sometimes sleep-deprived Dad – a “nonsinger” who gently rocked sang his son to sleep.
Fred is survived by caring sisters-in-law, Gail and Alma, and Aunt Marion, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his wife June, their son Randy, siblings Ervin, Whit, and Violet, siblings-in-law Art, Ruth, Don, Shar, and Ray, and 2 nephews.
Because of the restrictions of Covid-19, plans for a Celebration of Life have been curtailed. A brief, private family graveside service was held on November 27 with Rev. Wilf Richert officiating. Comments regarding this Obituary/ Eulogy may be made online at www.hendersonsfunerals.com
No flowers by request. If you wish to donate to a charity of your choice in honour of Fred, that would be greatly appreciated. As extended family we want you to know of our collective loss and the legacy that this family gave to this community.
The family would like to thank the doctors who cared for Fred – especially Dr. Basson and Dr. Ballard, Chilliwack General Hospital Emergency staff, ICU and 5North staff, and Cascade Hospice, who all gave Fred compassionate care for his last days of life.
Fred Eckert Family – gone, but not forgotten