Col. Ronald P. Eckmann, USMC (Ret.)
January 1, 1931 – August 13, 2011
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Ronald P. Eckmann, 80, passed away on August 13, 2011, at home with his wife of 59 years Doris Eckmann and six children by his side. He passed away in San Antonio, but was a previous resident of Beeville for 28 years.
Colonel Eckmann was born in Chicago, Ill., on January 1, 1931, son of Hans and Astrid Eckmann. Among his many distinguished accomplishments, he was part of the “Flying Nightmares” squadron in the Korean War. Colonel Eckmann fought two tours in Vietnam (1966-1967). During his aviation career, he flew 513 combat missions and logged over 4,600 hrs and flew every aircraft the Marine Corps had to offer. He received over 20 distinguished medals in his career including the Legion of Merit and two purple hearts. He retired after spending 30 years in the Marine Corps. After retiring, Colonel Eckmann had a rewarding civilian career as a naval flight instructor at Chase Field in Beeville.
“Fly high dear son, loving dad, beloved papa…/ The clouds no longer obscuring your sights…/ The mission accomplished, the wind just right…/ Onward, ever upward…God’s Speed my endearing dad…/ What a man, what a life, what a flight!”
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hans and Astrid Eckmann; and two sisters, Estelle Eckmann and Sonya Pizzaro.
He is survived by his wife, Doris Eckmann of San Antonio; two sons, Thor Eckmann and wife Marsha of College Station, Peter Eckmann and wife Daffney of Leander; four daughters, Roxana Ball and husband David of Berclair, Kimberly Barnhart and husband Ret. Marine Lt. Col. Mark of Milbrook, AL; Sonya Arms of San Antonio, Kristina Kernick and husband Joe of Dripping Springs; eleven grandchildren: Kathryn, Michael, Brooke, Dennis, Matthew, Stacy, Brittany, Shelby, Kyle, Madison, Natalie; and four great grandchildren; Tyler, Nikolas, Caleb and Andrew.
Services were held Friday, August 19, 2011, at Fort Sam Houston, Main Post Chapel, 1605 Wilson Way, San Antonio, TX 78234. Viewing 1:30 pm, Funeral service at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Marine Corps League, www.mcleague.com. To leave a message for the family go to www.meadowlawn.net and select obituaries. Arrangements by :MeadowLawn Memorial Park and Crematory.