On August 7, 2020, Frank Barry Eckhardt, loving husband and father passed away suddenly at the age of 79.
Frank was born on June 25, 1941 in Summit, New Jersey to Frank Conrad Eckhardt, Jr. and Dorothy Smith Eckhardt. On January 12, 1963, he married Bertha Kay Eckhardt. They shared 57 years of marriage together. They raised two sons, Keith and Cary.
When not in the yard gardening, he enjoyed watching college football, basketball, and NFL football. He was an avid Duke University basketball fan.
Frank served his nation proudly. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was a paratrooper serving with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. After he served his nation honorably in the U.S. Army, he continued to serve military families at Fort Bragg.
In 1969, he was hired as the first professional Army Youth Sports Assistant Director at Fort Bragg.
His extensive knowledge of sports and volunteer experience with youth led to promotions to various positions in the Army Youth Program at Fort Bragg. His vision for programs set the template for Army Youth Programs around the world.
His leadership skills were recognized by the Command and he was detailed to lead the Child Development Programs for National accreditation from 1990 to 1992.
In 1994, Frank was promoted to Community Division Chief where he oversaw Child Development Services, Youth Services, and Army Community Services. In 1998, he was promoted to the Community and Recreation Division Chief.
Frank was instrumental in obtaining funding for various Army construction projects that would improve the quality of life for families at Fort Bragg. These projects included the Tolson Youth Center. This youth center is the largest in Department of the Army and the only center to include an indoor swimming pool.
In 2000, Frank was promoted to Deputy Director for Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Programs for Fort Bragg, responsible for all programs and support operations for the Directorate.
His Civilian Service achievements include speaking engagements on Youth Programs at Youth Conferences in US and Europe.
Frank received the Superior Civilian Service Awards in 1992 and 1993, Achievement Award for Civilian Service in 1998. Upon his retirement in 2003, he received the Meritorious Civilian and he received the highly coveted Iron Mike statue for those individuals who have left a legacy of service to the Fort Bragg Community
Frank was preceded in death by his father, Frank and his mother, Dorothy. He is survived by his wife Kay and two sons, Keith and Cary and his daughter-in-law Kelly. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Alex, Brandon, Heather, Allison, Cameron and Dannah and three great grandchildren, Henry, Penelope and Declan.
Frank is survived by his seven siblings, Joyce, Bruce, Kenneth, Valerie, Randy, Wendy and Doug.
Visitation and Celebration of Life Services will be held at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home, 500 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC 28301. Visitation at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 3:00 p.m.
Graveside services will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. (EDT) at Friends Chapel Cemetery in Deer Lodge, Tennessee with a Military Service at Graveside provided by American Legion Post 137.
In lieu of flowers for Celebration of Life service, graveside flowers are requested and may be sent to Jennings Funeral Home.
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