Obituary of Dick Eck
March 20, 2017
Dick Eck passed away Feb. 1, 2017 at his home in Wimberley, Texas, surrounded by his love ones after living a long and adventurous life. To Dick's family and friends, he was not only large in stature but a true renaissance man who never lost his optimism and his belief in others. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, Dick was the eldest son of Carl Albin Eck and Wilma Anita Skoog Eck. Dick graduated from Grand Island High school, where he was salutatorian, and an athlete. Upon graduation, Dick joined the U.S. Navy, proudly serving 32 years in both active and reserves roles, retiring at the rank of Captain. Dick attended Doane College and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Industrial Economics and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Dick married Anne Elizabeth Downey in 1952 in San Diego, California and had three children, Elizabeth (Betsy) Anne, Patricia (Patty) Lou, and Mary Jane. Anne and Dick were married 48 years prior to her death in 2000. Dick remarried in 2001 to Ginny Miller and relocated to Wimberley, Texas. Dick's diverse 50+ year business career began with General Electric in Schenectady, New York. Afterwards he pursued a career path that included Babcock Electronics, co-founding Ecktronics with his brother Bob, Pacific Scientific Company, United Testing Laboratories, and Hydril, where he served as VP of Sales and Marketing in Houston, TX. Prior to retirement, Dick established Ecklectic Resources Inc., with his wife, Anne, representing various manufacturers and selling to industrial companies in California.
Dick's vast and varied interests included the design and building of radio control airplanes, golf, cars, especially Alfa Romeos, books and music. His love of music took him from opera to Ella and all big band. On the right occasion, Dick would bang out boogie-woogie tunes on the piano or share sweet music from the many instruments he mastered. His moves on the dance floor were famous — he could swing — and his long legs provided lots of entertainment and smooth moves for all. Dick enjoyed great conversation with both family and friends and was also a perennial storyteller who loved to make others and himself laugh. Dick also was a passionate Iowa State University alum and a lifetime contributor to the ISU Foundation. Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Anne Elizabeth Downey Eck, and his brother Robert Allan Eck. Survived by wife of 15 years – Virginia Gail (Ginny) Eck, sister Carol Ann Miller (Ron), sister-in-law Carole Eck, daughters Elizabeth Anne Brooks (Chris), Patricia Lou Luther (Tom), Mary Jane Eck, grandsons Richard Joseph Luther (Theresa), Robert Brennen Luther, great-granddaughter Sofia Anne Luther and Eck and Downey nieces and nephews/ families he loved through the years. A graveside service will be held on Saturday, March 25 at 10 a.m. at the Forest View Cemetery, Red Dog Road, Nevada City, CA. Followed by a Celebration of Dick's life and luncheon at the Whitney Oaks Golf Club, 2305 Clubhouse Drive, Rocklin, CA beginning at noon. In lieu of flowers, the family has established the Richard Carl Eck Memorial Fund at the Iowa State University Foundation. Donations can be sent to: 2505 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50010. Online contributions can be made at: foundation.iastate.edu by clicking on the "Give Now" tab at the top of the web page. Please include that your gift is being made in memory of Richard C. Eck.