Father David Eckelkamp, OFM, (Robert Eckelkamp), 80, died Tuesday, April 1, 2008, at St. John’s Hospice.
He was born to William and Mary Ann (nee Straatmann) Eckelkamp on June 4, 1927, in Washington, Mo.
He is survived by brothers, William Woody Eckelkamp of Villa Ridge, Mo., (wife, Helen) and John Jack Eckelkamp of Labadie, Mo.; many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews; and his Franciscan family of the Sacred Heart Province.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Louis B. Eckelkamp Sr. and Father Joseph Eckelkamp, O.F.M.; sisters, Rose Eckelkamp Shay, Martha Eckelkamp Puzauski and Sister Miriam Jo Eckelkamp, O.S.F.
He entered the novitiate of the Sacred Heart Province of the Order of Friars Minor on July 4, 1946, and received the name, David. Ordained on June 29, 1953, Fr. David ministered at St. Louis Chronic Hospital and many other health facilities in the area. He was elected as Vicar Provincial Minister of the Sacred Heart Province in 1969. Father David was the executive secretary of the OFM English Speaking Conference for almost 20 years. Father David was very involved with the Secular Franciscan Order and helped to develop the Franciscan Federation of the Third Order Religious. In 1991, he was awarded the prestigious Reconciler Award by the Franciscan Federation of the Third Order Religious because of his work as a peacemaker. He spent his final years with peace in his heart and joy in his step as chaplain at the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis Motherhouse in Springfield. Father David was a gentle man, he had a warm smile, a good word for everyone and a positive outlook in every situation. He was a peacemaker, striving to reconcile differences, to harmonize disparities and to bring understanding and insight into dissimilar circumstances. He was a faithful and simple friar and a loving and caring priest.
Services will be held Friday, April 4, 2008, at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Sherman, with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. and a memorial Mass at 11 a.m. and on Monday, April 7, 2008, at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church, 310 West Main St. in Washington, Mo., with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. and with Mass of Christian burial at 11 a.m. Interment will be in St. Francis Borgia Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the care of the elderly Franciscan Priests and Brothers at Our Lady of the Angels, P.O. Box 2153 Springfield, IL 62705.
Staab Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements and Miller Funeral Home is in charge of Missouri arrangements.
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