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Abraham James Eckstein, age 86, of Larsen, passed away at home on Thursday, September 17, 2020, after a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Abe was born at home in Allenville, WI on November 1, 1933, to Abraham and Orpha (Brown) Eckstein. During his childhood, Abe helped on the family farm and with his father’s trucking business. He was proud to have shown pigs at the state fair. One of his favorite memories was riding his pony to school. He was confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Winchester.
Abe graduated in 1951 from Winneconne High School, where he excelled in basketball, football, and baseball. He later served in the army during the Korean War, stationed in Japan.
On September 11, 1954, Abe married Theda Alice Larson. They settled in the Town of Winchester where they raised their family on The Farm. Abe enjoyed farming his entire life and served several years on the Lake-to-Lake Board of Directors.
He was hardworking and always put others first. Abe served his community as a member of the Clayton-Winchester Fire Department for 25 years. He served a term on the Winneconne School Board and served as president of the Larsen Drainage District for many years.
The highlight of his public service were the years he served on the Winchester Town Board as a supervisor and his 18 years as Town Chairman. Abe led the effort to build the present-day Winchester Town Hall and Fire Station. He enjoyed challenges and wasn’t afraid to tackle anything.
Abe had a love of aviation and took flying lessons on the GI Bill.
He was instrumental in having the Larson Brothers Airport placed on the National Register of Historical Places as the oldest airport in Wisconsin and having a historical marker erected.
In 2004, Abe and Theda were honored at the State Fair for the sesquicentennial of his wife’s family farm.
Abe had a sweet tooth and could not say no to a baked good, especially the homemade goodies his granddaughter Kari made.
Abe is survived by his children, Alice Joas, Fay Eckstein, Ted Eckstein (Wendy), Tom (Sandy) Eckstein, Clint (Robin) Eckstein, Dan "Digger" (Jena) Eckstein; twenty-one grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Judy Chance, Gail (Lawrence) Blanton; brother-in-law, Tom (Linda) Hathhorn; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. He is further survived and missed by his faithful companion Duke.
Along with his parents, Abe was preceded in death by his wife, Theda, a son, Abraham Ben; a granddaughter, Ashley Peterson; a grandson, Justin Eckstein; sisters, Wanda and Doris; brother, Le Roy “Chub”; a sister-in-law, Bonnie Hathhorn; and a son-in-law, Doug Joas.
A visitation for family and friends will be on Saturday, October 3, 2020, from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Mueller Funeral Home 904 E. Main St. Winneconne, where a prayer service will be held at 6:00 p.m. A celebration of life will be held Sunday, October 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Winchester Town Hall, 8522 Park Way Lane in Winchester. Inurnment will be in the Grace Lutheran Cemetery, Winchester.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.
A special thank you to Digger for his patience and care he gave Dad these past years. Also, thank you to family and friends for helping when needed.
Thank you to Paul from Meals on Wheels for his visits, prayers and concern. He is a blessing to our family.
When looking back upon his life Abe said that he “had ups and downs in farming, but basically it’s been a good life, I think.”
If you wish please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.