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Gerald (Jerry) Eichman

Gerald (Jerry) Eichman

1938 - 2020

With grace and strength, like when he set the 1953 record in the 220 sprint for Winona Junior High, Jerry Eichman crossed the finish line of life on October 7, 2020. He ran a beautiful, faithful, creative, well-lived race of 82 years.

Born in Galesville, Wisconsin, Jerry grew up with his hard working parents, Leo and Clara and beloved younger sister Joan in Winona, Minnesota. Jerry was blessed with athletic abilities and had a passion for playing sports, especially baseball. He helped lead the Winona Winhawks to many victories and was well-known in his community for his accomplishments in little league and American Legion Junior baseball. Jerry graduated from Winona High School in 1957. He then went on to earn a Bachelors in Education from Winona State University. Shortly after graduation, he moved to Waterford, Michigan. Mr. Eichman taught junior high physical education and history for Waterford Schools for 37 years. The majority of those years were at Mason Junior High. In addition to teaching, he coached football, baseball, track and wrestling.

It was in Waterford that Jerry met his cherished wife Sharon of 55 years, who was also a teacher. Throughout the years they were blessed with three children. Jerry was a faithful husband and outstanding father. He and his family enjoyed fellowship at Bethel UCC in Waterford for 31 years. Throughout his life, Jerry enjoyed God’s creation, laughter, rooting on the Tennessee Vols with his son, fishing, baking, serving at church, music and bargain hunting. Jerry was known by his family and friends for his generous heart and kind spirit. He would often spend his time helping neighbors by shoveling snow or mowing.

In 1998, after both had retired, Jerry and Sharon moved to New Bern, North Carolina. They quickly became part of the family at Trinity UMC, where Jerry helped coach the church baseball team. Many afternoons in New Bern would find Jerry on his deck fishing to feed his animal friend – Bart the Blue Heron.

Jerry is so deeply loved and treasured by his family: wife Sharon Eichman, son Dr. Darrel Eichman of New Bern, daughter JoAnn (Nick) Klak of Rochester, MI, and daughter Carrie (Eliseo) Ruiz of New Bern. His grandchildren: Nicholas, Maria, Sophia and Elena have been so incredibly blessed to enjoy such a loving, fun and creative grandpa. Jerry also shared a special bond with his sister Joan (Jim) Johnson of Winona, MN and his nephew Thom VanHorn of Boston, MA and niece Stacey Jacobson of LaCrosse, WI. Also, sister in law, Sara (William) Laibe of Lillian, AL. Jerry was a precious gem for each one of his loved ones.

Upon crossing the finish line, Jerry was welcomed into the glorious presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ. It is with this peace, promise and assurance that he finished strong.

Memorials can be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 2311 Elizabeth Ave, New Bern, NC 28562. Jerry’s life will be celebrated with a private family service.

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