Wednesday, May 6, 2020

James W. Eichelberger

James W. Eichelberger, also known as Ike, Daddy, and Papa, departed this life on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at the age of 85 in his home in the care of his wife and two daughters.

James W. Eichelberger, the fourth son of Will Eichelberger and Florence Jackson Eichelberger, was born in Winston County, MS on May 10, 1934. He obtained his Associate’s Degree at Ministerial Institute & College (M&I) in West Point, MS. After leaving M&I, he attended Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Mississippi on a football scholarship.

In 1956, James joined the United States Air Force. As an aircraft mechanic, he worked on planes including but not limited to the T-37, the F-104, and the B57 Fighter Bomber. Later in his Air Force career, James worked in Quality Control and as an Administration Specialist. After retiring from the Air Force, he attended and graduated from East Mississippi Community College.

While in service for his country, James served a number of tours of duty during the Vietnam War Era. He was honorably discharged in 1976. During his career, he was stationed at several stateside Air Force bases in Selma, AL; Chandler, AZ; Glendale, AZ; Laredo, TX; and Columbus, MS. At the time of his death, MSgt Eichelberger was a Veteran of the Peacetime and Vietnam Era in the United States Air Force.

James was married 61 years to Mary Lee Goins Eichelberger. He always said, “I married the prettiest girl on the hill.” To this special union, three children were born. James loved his family dearly. He was equally as loving to his three grandchildren.

James was a faithful member of Yeates Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and he became an ordained deacon of the church in 1976. He attended church faithfully and served in the following positions: Deacon, Chairman of the Deacon Board, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Teacher, Treasurer, Business Meeting Moderator, Church Choir, as well as the Church Janitor. Wherever there was a need, Deacon Eichelberger was willing to serve.

James enjoyed playing football, basketball, and softball. In addition to sports, he had a myriad of hobbies ranging from fishing to attending squadron picnics at the air force bases in Arizona and Texas. James also had a somewhat of an entrepreneurial spirit too as he hauled pulpwood and even started Ike’s Shaved Ice Stand. After he retired, James attended church and note singing conventions, rode his four-wheeler, and spent time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, often going on road trips across the country.

Whether he was affectionately known as James, Ike, Cousin James, or Uncle James, James W. Eichelberger lived a full loving life, and we rejoice knowing that we will be united with him again eternally in God’s heaven.

MSgt James W. Eichelberger is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Mary Lee Goins Eichelberger, whom he loved and cherished dearly of West Point, MS; his oldest daughter, Shirley D. Davis (Noble) of Memphis, TN; his son, Toney R. Eichelberger of West Point, MS; and his baby daughter, Dr. Regina Eichelberger Boyd of West Point, MS; his grandson, Justin A. Boyd (Jessica) of Batesville, MS; his granddaughters, Nakita S. LeSueur of Nashville, TN, and Danielle D. LeSueur of Memphis, TN; Brothers: Arthur D. Eichelberger of Marion, IN, Jacob Terrell Jr. of New York, NY; Sisters: Magalean Eichelberger, Elsera Buggs (Scott), and Mary Janice Harris, Patricia Jones, Juanita (Edward) Walker all of St. Louis, MO, Delois Ferguson (Marcus), Doris D. Weaver, Charlean Brooks all of Marion, IN; Brother-in-Law: Willie Roger Goins of Atlanta, GA; Sisters-in-Laws: Ozzie B. Ivy, and Everlena Jones (Willie) of Stockton, CA; Ola Eichelberger of St. Charles, MO, Leevon Brown Eichelberger of St. Louis, MO, and Dorothy Pearl Goins of West Point, MS; Favorite aunt, Maggie Jackson Kincaid of Louisville, MS; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by Rosetta Eichelberger (sister), Charles Eichelberger, Era C. Eichelberger (brothers), Florence Jackson Eichelberger (mother), Lula Eichelberger Foard (sister), Will Eichelberger (father), Jimmy H. Eichelberger, Curtis Eichelberger, Frank Z. Eichelberger (brothers), and Eva Mae Eichelberger (stepmother).

Services for MSgt James W. Eichelberger, USAF, Retired were held on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 with Pastor Robert S. Traylor officiating. Escort was provided by the Patriot Guard Riders. Interment was at the North Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Kilmichael, MS.

The family of James W. Eichelberger would like to thank everyone for their prayers, kind words, thoughts, and deeds during his homegoing journey.