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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.

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