ILL. Rolland Merrel Eckels, 33°
Born – May 6, 1924
Died – July 2, 2017
Ill. Rolland M. Eckels, 33° was born May 6, 1924 to the late Merrel H. and Veneta (Brummitt) Eckels, of Mount Vernon, Indiana. He attended F. J. Reitz High School, then the University of Evansville in 1949. Ill. Brother Eckels married Phyllis J. Manning of Evansville, In on November 26; 1942.They had three grown children, Pamela, Barbara, and Jeffrey, several grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren that survive him.
Ill. Bro. Eckels was a United States Army Air Corps Staff Sgt. during WWII; he was a Waist Gunner on a B-17. He taught school for 4 years managed the chamber of commerce in Connersville, IN and was Executive Director of the United Way of Vanderburgh County, IN before being the director of Public Affairs for 28 years at Mead Johnson where he retired.
Ill. Bro. Eckles was raised a Master Mason in Evansville Lodge # 64 F& AM, IN Evansville, IN on March 31, 1962. He joined the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite April 14, 1962, and was crowned a Thirty-Third Grand Inspector General in Pittsburgh, PA September 26, 2000. Bro. Eckels was also a member of the Hadi Temple Shrine.
Ill. Bro. Eckels held public offices as a member of Vanderburgh County Redevelopment Commission 1998-99, Vanderburgh County Library Board 1999-2001 and Vice Chairman of the Vanderburgh County G.O.P. Public honors consist of the Rotary Civic Award 1987, Sagamore of the Wabash 1999, Doctorate of Laws Indiana State University 1976.
Ill. Bro. Eckels also held the following positions in various clubs of which he was a member such as Secretary of the Visiting Nurses Association, Secretary of “SWIRCA” South Western Indiana Regional Council on Aging, Past President of Southern In. Higher Education, Board member of Tri-State Food Bank, Secretary and Past President of Albion Fellows Bacon Center, State War Memorial Commission – Channel 9 where he was also Past President, Board member emeritus at Deaconess Hospital. Bro. Eckels was a lifetime member of the VFW Post # 1114 and was of the Methodist faith.
Private services were held Wednesday July 5, 2017 with visitation Tuesday 3:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Alexander East Funeral Home.
As we remember with gratitude and affection our departed brethren, may we too grow in wisdom, knowledge, and love. By their good example may we better serve our fellow men, our country, and our God.