Skip to content

Obituary – Frank Eichler



Frank Martin Eichler "Fritz" 88, of Cincinnati, Ohio, father of popular Walking Horse owner, Frank Eichler, who owns Rising Star Ranch and whose wife Debbie is popular exhibitor, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Born on July 7, 1930, in LeFors, TX, the first son to Frank Cook Eichler and Josephine Eugenia "Gene" (Collier) Eichler. Preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, James "Jimbo" Eichler, and Donny Eichler, and the love of his life, his wife of 56 years, Mary Alice (Siemonsma) Eichler, whom he married on July 16, 1955, in Long Beach, CA.

Survived by his 5 children and spouses, Frank and Debbie Eichler, Mark Eichler, Tim and Michele (Eichler) Lichter, Teresa Eichler, and Denise (Eichler) Cole; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and many close friends too numerous to name whom he loved and considered his extended family.

Fritz served over 20 years in the United States Air Force as a fighter pilot, or 'Hired Killer," as he laughingly liked to call it. His service included 3 years and 10 months of foreign service; a year-long tour in Vietnam, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Silver Star for his 155 combat missions in that time; the 1738 Ferrying Squadron, where he was once current in 13 types of planes at once; and to finish, an assignment in the Pentagon as a Lieutenant Colonel, working on the famous Sabre Tiger study, and then declining a Generalcy to retire and spend more time with his family. Fritz tackled the world of entrepreneurship after his retirement. He successfully ran a travel trailer business, 2 Amoco service stations, "Eichler's Clover Farm" grocery store in Parker, SD, "The Chicken Coop" restaurant in Sioux Falls, SD, and finally took a dip into real estate as a realtor in Cincinnati, OH. He was named the Washington, D.C., Redskins #1 fan when he pioneered publicizing their stats on his Amoco station windows before the advent of the insta-information age; he brought that energy and spirit of fun to everything he did.

Fritz was a devoted Catholic and a monumental champion of Tradition. His free time was spent volunteering at his grandchildren's school and his parish church, cooking for boarding students, helping construct a summer camp, and gardening. His famous 'signature pies' made their way to parish auctions and favorite pharmacists, and all his grandchildren have fond memories of Sunday morning omelets, painted Easter egg traditions, and working alongside him to 'get the job done'. Funeral arrangements can be found at RoseHillFunerals.com.

More Stories

  • FAST provides industry update

    In 2021, the walking horse industry has experienced a generally successful year for our show horse including an increased number of horse shows and sustained entry numbers at the 2021 Celebration.  As we enter into the final quarter of the year, industry organizations and leadership are turning their attention toward the 2022 year.   Read More
  • Obituary – Lined With Cash

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Lined With Cash. He passed this afternoon of an apparent cardiac arrest.  This 25-year-old son of WGC Coin's Hard Cash out of the great Gen's Silver Lining has sired currently 1238 offspring who hold close to 400 World Titles. Read More
  • Obituary - Chester Marbry

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of long time walking horse owner, Chester Marbry. A full obituary will he posted as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Marbry family during this time. Read More
  • WHOA announces new show venues for 2022

    The Walking Horse Owners Association would like to announce that WHOA will sponsor the “Southern Belle Walking Horse Show” scheduled for March 10-12, 2022. The event will be held at the Georgia Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013. Read More
  • Latest Issue 11 22 21

    Read More
  • Obituary – Joel Roper “Huck” Moss, Jr.

    Joel Roper “Huck” Moss, Jr., husband of Peggy Ann Moss for 56 years, died November 17, 2021, after an extended illness. Mr. Moss was born on April 8, 1942, to the late Joel Roper “Bubba” Moss, Sr., and Margaret Gardner Moss.  Read More
  • TWHBEA names Derickson CFO

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association President, Jack Heffington, announced the hiring of Thomas Derickson as the Chief Financial Officer of Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association, effective November 17, 2021. Read More
  • Mikey’s Motors donates cart to Celebration

    Mike and Chris Williamson with Mikey’s Motors recently donated a utility cart to The Celebration for use on the showgrounds. The cart, which is street legal and enclosed with heat and air will be utilized by Celebration staff in a number of ways throughout the course of the year. Read More
  • Horse of the Year online voting available for Trainers

    The Walking Horse Trainers' Association is excited to announce that they have launched electronic voting for this year's Horse of the Year awards.  With this voting, it is their hope to have made the process easier for trainers and that as a result there will be a greater participation in the voting process... Read More
  • Changes happening fast at TWHBEA; Focus turns to election

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) recently announced that Executive Director Margo Urad would end her term as Executive Director on December 6, 2021 and assume a new role as Director of Programs and Horse Show Development... Read More