Obituary of John Eicholtz
John Eicholtz was born in Maybee, Michigan on March 7, 1935, and spent his childhood there on the family farm. His parents were George Eicholtz and Ivedell (Burghardt) Eicholtz. He attended school in Maybee and Dundee, graduating from Dundee High School with the class of 1953. John married the love of his life, the former Lois Berlin on March 26, 1955, in the midst of a big snowstorm in which tractors had to plow so they could still have a wedding reception. The couple was blessed with the birth of two children, Cynthia in 1957 and Douglas in 1959.
John started out working as an auto mechanic for Williams Brothers in Dundee. He truly was a jack of all trades and was the go-to guy to fix anything from automobiles, to carpentry, electrical and plumbing. After a few years, John decided to take a position with the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier. He knew the work was physically demanding, requiring the carrier to walk a fifteen-mile route. Through snow, rain, heat or any condition, John was a familiar face delivering the mail to the Dundee residents. His position initially as a city carrier eventually became a rural route. John was willing to do it all, finally retiring after forty-one years, three months, and ten days of service. (John always liked to report the exact amount of time he was a postal employee.)
John sometimes made a pit stop at his home during his city route to get a drink of water or to simply warm up for a moment. His children recalled seeing icicles clinging to his mustache during those cold weather months. He was not one to allow the grass to grow under his feet so he would also moonlight as a cement worker, in business with his brother Harold. He enjoyed driving around the community with his family, proudly pointing out the different sidewalks, driveways, and barn floors he had "poured."
A hard worker, but a dedicated family man, John enjoyed taking drives with his wife and young children. He had sharp vision and would always point out something like an eagle flying up high, a turtle sitting upon a rock in a creek, or some black raspberry bushes hidden by the roadside. He instilled an appreciation for nature in his kids. Years later, after his retirement, John still liked to go for long rides with Lois, traveling the backroads of Dundee and nearby towns.
A naturally crafty man, later in life John carved canes and walking sticks for many of his family and close friends. For a while, he was a regular at the Dundee farmers' market, at a booth selling his canes, walking sticks and various spice blends. His handmade products became treasured keepsakes to many people across the country.
Upon meeting John, one was always offered a Lifesaver mint candy. This was his signature gift, given to friends and strangers, for with John, no one was a stranger for long. He was a friendly, generous man who had a greeting for everyone.
As a young man in the late fifties and early sixties, John was a member of the Piston Pushers, a hard top car racing club. He raced in Adrian and nearby locales. John and fellow members of the Piston Pushers proudly sported jackets with the club's name boldly emblazoned upon it.
John was a lifetime member of the Knights of Pythias. He was instrumental in building a pyramid-shaped cement memorial that was placed at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dundee. The monument dedicated on October 13, 1968, still stands today.
An active member of the community, John was on the Dundee Housing Commission for 18 years and LDFA for 20+ years and was in the local chapter of the Lions Club. He helped set up funeral dinners and was involved with other charity work at St. John's Lutheran Church in Dundee.
Within the postal service, John served as the Monroe County rural carrier President for many years and had a special assignment as the Quality of Work Life co-chair for six years. He was on the Michigan Rural Letter Carriers Association state board for four years. John and his wife Lois attended many postal conventions over the years, throughout Michigan and across the United States.
John was many. things to many people. From "John the Mailman", "John the Mint Man", "John the Cement Guy", and even the "hand carved cane guy", but what he will most be remembered for is being a loving husband and father and faithful family man.
John Eicholtz, age 88, of Dundee, passed away at his home of more than sixty-five years at 1:18 am on Saturday, March 18, 2023. He was surrounded by his loving family and under the care of ProMedica Hospice. His passing was preceded by his parents; a sister, Ruth Deming; and a brother, George Eicholtz.
To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife of nearly sixty-eight years, Lois; daughter, Cynthia Eicholtz (Keith Zimmer); a son, Douglas (the late Shari) Eicholtz; a granddaughter, Bailey Eicholtz; and a sister, Mary Ann Pinter; along with cousins, nieces and nephews.
His care was entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service of Dundee. A private graveside service and burial was held on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dundee.
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