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© Glenn

Wendell Bruce and Betty Irene ECKHARDT

Cherokee Municipal Cemetery

Wendell Bruce Eckhardt
© Enid News and Eagle
Submitted by: Jo Aguirre

Bruce Eckhardt, farmer and stockman of Cherokee, OK, died Monday, Sept. 4, 2006, at the farm north of Cherokee. He was 86.

Wendell Bruce Eckhardt was born March 1, 1920, on the family farm north of Ingersoll, OK to Carol and Nola (Bar-rett) Eck-hardt. He graduated from Inger-soll High School in 1937 and attended Northwestern State College in Alva, OK.

Bruce married Betty Irene Bryant of Andover, KS on March 22, 1942, in Larned, KS and he entered the Army Air Corps on May 21, 1942, during World War II. In August 1944, he was sent overseas where he served in the China Burma India (CBI) Theatre as a member of the well-known 14th Air Force Flying Tigers. Following an honorable discharge at the rank of Master Sergeant on Dec. 21, 1945, he returned to the Cherokee area.

Bruce has lived and farmed in the Cherokee community all his life. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Cherokee, a member of the Fidelis Sunday school class, served as a member of the Gustin Farm Committee and served on the Board of Trustees. Bruce received the distinction of being a 33rd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite and was a 50-year member of both the Scottish Rite and Lodge. He also was as 58-year member of the Cherokee Eastern Star and served as Worthy Grand patron of the State of Oklahoma in 1991. Bruce was chairman of the Alfalfa County Library Board for many years and was a Cherokee City Commissioner. He also was a member of the American Legion. He was best known for his willingness to help others and worked on many carpentry projects in and around Cherokee. He built pole barns, repaired windmills, and was the unofficial “Ambassador to Ingersoll,” being responsible for the “exit signs” placed at the roadside in that community.

Surviving are his wife, Betty of the home; two sons, Keith Eckhardt, Alva, and Ron and his wife, Karen Eckhardt, Chero-kee; and two daughters, Nancy and husband James Leslie of Enid, and Anita and husband Rolfe Reitz, also of Enid. He is also survived by grandchildren, Christopher Eckhardt and his wife Sara Alva, Angela Harper, Alva, Michael Eckhardt and his wife, Kathryn, Alva, and Lacie Eckhardt, also of Alva, Kyle Eckhardt and Kurtis Eckhardt, Cherokee, Christine Leslie, Enid, Stephanie Reitz, Houston, TX, Brian Reitz and Melissa Reitz, Norman, and Adam Reitz, Enid. In addition, he is survived by one great-granddaughter, Anastasia Harper of Alva.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and one sister.

Services will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006, at the Cherokee High School auditorium. The Rev. Jim Edmison will officiate. Burial will be in Cherokee Municipal Cemetery under the direction of Goodwin Funeral Home of Cherokee. A Masonic graveside service will be conducted.

Memorials may be made to ESTARL or United Methodist Women of Cherokee through the funeral home.

Betty Irene Eckhardt
© Enid News and Eagle
Submitted by: Glenn

October 12, 1923 - December 01, 2017

Service celebrating the life of Betty Irene Eckhardt, 94, is 2 p.m. Saturday, December 9, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Cherokee, Oklahoma. Burial follows in the Cherokee Municipal Cemetery. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home Inc. of Cherokee. www.LanmanMemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.

Betty was born October 12, 1923, the youngest of three daughters, to Charles G. and Daisy I. Bryant, in Andover, Kansas. She was raised in Andover and graduated from Andover High School in 1941. Following graduation, she attended Kansas Business College, Wichita, Kansas. March 22, 1942, Betty married Wendell B. (Bruce) Eckhardt in Larned, Kansas. Shortly thereafter, he joined the U.S. Army during World War II and together they lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Louisville, Kentucky. While he was deployed overseas, she was employed at Beech Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas. They returned to the Cherokee area in 1946.

Betty was a full-time mother and homemaker, until she was employed by the Farmers Exchange Bank in Cherokee. She worked there from 1968 until 1985, retiring as assistant cashier. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Cherokee, the United Methodist Women, the Oklahoma Order of Eastern Star and a Past Grand Ruth. She was also a member of the Lunch Bunch, a past member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and was involved in several card clubs. For the past three years, she has resided at Brookdale Senior Living in Enid, Oklahoma, where she enjoyed watching sports on TV (Texas Rangers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Oklahoma college football teams), visiting with other residents at mealtime, and most of all, playing a mean game of Bingo. The menagerie of stuffed animals in her apartment were a testament to her skill.

Betty is survived by her four children, Nancy (James) Leslie, Enid; Keith (Mary) Eckhardt, Fairview; Anita (Rolfe) Reitz, Norman; and Ron (Karen) Eckhardt, Cherokee. Other survivors include: eleven grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, 13 step-great-grandchildren, and four step-great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bruce, in 2006.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Women, Cherokee, or to the Cherokee Eastern Star Scholarship Fund, through the funeral home.

Viewing is 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday. Visitation with the family is 5:30-7 p.m. Friday evening, at Lanman Funeral Home Inc. in Cherokee.

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