Richard R. “Rick” Eckiss, 70, of Mount Carmel, passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.
He was born on Jan. 1, 1947, in Wabash County, the son of Ray and Hazel (Smallwood) Eckiss. Hazel went on to marry Frank Latham whom Rick thought of as a father.
Rick graduated from Mount Carmel High School Class of 1965. Following high school Rick faithfully served his country in the United States Air Force where he served as a tactical aircraft maintenance technician.
During his twenty years of service he served during the Vietnam War where he was awarded with Valor, Vietnam Gallantry Cross and the Vietnam Campaign Medal. During his service he was also decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross Medal, the Commendation Medal, Air Medal with 11 Devices, Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
Rick spent ten years stationed in England where he met and married his wife, Beverley on July 15, 1988 in Ipswich, England. Together they enjoyed twenty eight years of marriage, spending time with their family was very important to them.
Among Rick’s hobbies he was an avid coin collector where he enjoyed going out and finding old coins. He also liked spending time outdoors and loved finding treasures while metal detecting.
Rick was a lifetime member of the VFW local post # 4276. He also attended Free Methodist Church in Mount Carmel.
He worked as a fabricator at Champion Laboratories. Rick will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
Rick will be remembered by his loving wife, Beverley Eckiss of Mount Carmel; son, Brenden Eckiss and fiancé Tabitha Archer of Charleston, Illinois; daughter, Carmel Duke and husband, Mike of Owensville, Indiana; four grandchildren, Zoie, Layla, Declan and Braydin Duke; three brothers, Kevin Latham of Mount Carmel, Bob (Sally) Latham of Sandwich, Illinois, and Dick (Doris) Latham of Ava, Illinois; two sisters, Cheryl (Jody) Gray of Bellmont, and Loretta (Marley) Charlie of Carmi; father-in-law, Ronald Lawrence; brothers-in-law, Rodney, Darrill and Dudley Lawrence, all of Ipswich, England; sister-in-law, Amanda Lawrence of Felixstowe, England; and many loved cousins, nieces and nephews.
Rick was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Raymond Latham and Rodger Eckiss; and mother-in-law, Brenda Lawrence.
Family and friends are invited to gather from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Chapel of Keepes Funeral Home.
Funeral Services will be at 1 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Chapel of Keepes Funeral Home with Pastor Deron Colgan officiating. Burial will follow at Harrison Cemetery in Lancaster with Full Military Honors.
Memorial contributions may be made in Rick’s memory to the Free Methodist Church, local VFW Honor Guard Post # 4276 or to a charity of your choice. Envelopes will be at the funeral home or can be mailed to Keepes Funeral Home, 1500 N. Cherry St., Mount Carmel, IL 62863.
Keepes Funeral Home is serving the family with the arrangements. To view Rick’s tribute wall, leave condolences and purchase flowers for the Eckiss family, please visit www.KeepesFuneralHome.com.