Joseph (Joe) Peters Eckman, age 93, passed away peacefully at his home. At 4:44 p.m. on July 17, 2017 the Eckman family lost a wonderful, loving, and caring patriarch. And, the world lost another hero of the greatest generation.
Joe was born in Philadelphia, PA on December 19, 1923 to Alonzo S. and Agnes (Evans) Eckman. He was the third of four children.
As a teenager Joe joined the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) where he worked building Skyline Drive through the newly established Shenandoah National Park.
When Joe was 17 he enlisted in the United States Navy where he was assigned to the USS Atlanta CL-51. He served aboard the Atlanta until it was scuttled following the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal November 13, 1942. Joe, a member of the demolition team that remained on board after evacuation, was subsequently lost at sea for 13 hours following the setting of charges and abandoning ship. After his rescue Joe was assigned to a contingent of U.S. Marines until he could be reassigned. Once he returned to the mainland, he was diagnosed with malaria and yellow jaundice which resulted in Joe receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy. He later served 15 years in the Naval Air Reserve.
On August 11, 1943, Joe married the love of his life, Jane. Together they began the adventure of building a legacy consisting of four children, nine grandchildren, and many great and great-great grandchildren. At the time of his death he and Jane had spent 74 loving years together.
In 1958 Joe moved his family to Layton, UT where he worked for Hill Air Force Base. He retired from Hillfield in 1986 with 27 years of exemplary civilian service.
One of Joe’s most joyous activities was sharing his knowledge with the young men around him. He taught and mentored countless boys as their little league coach in both baseball and football. His boys won multiple championships. The community honored his work and sacrifice with the boys and considered him to be coaching royalty. Joe also spent much of his free time working with the Boy Scouts of America. He was a Scout Master as well as an instructor for new scout masters. He was nominated and received the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest honor awarded to scout masters.
Joe was very active in the community clubs and organizations. He held many roles and served in many leadership positions in the Syracuse Lions Club, Layton VFW Post 8307, Layton American Legion Post 87, Ogden’s Lodge 2472 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Clearfield Freemasons, and many other organizations. He continued this community support with the local organizations around him after he moved to Nevada in his later years of life. Joe was a member of Calvary Community Church.
Joe was preceded in death by both parents, all three siblings, one son, and one great-great granddaughter.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Memorial Gardens of The Wasatch. A family visitation will be held prior from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. at Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden, Utah.
Friends and family are invited to sign an online guest book at www.moapavalleymortuary.com.