James Goodwin Eckert, of Needham, formerly of Louisville, Kentucky, passed away on October 27th 2018. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nanette (Fitzpatrick) Eckert, with whom he shared 63 years, and their children Laura Eckert and her husband Douglas Parker; Alice Temming and her husband Joseph; John Eckert and his wife Elaine (Centola); and Robert Eckert and his wife Marie Therese Wolf. He was a loving and devoted “Papa Jim” to his ten grandchildren: Claire Till, Tom Parker, John Temming, Maria Temming, David Temming, Nicole Bump, James Eckert, Allison Eckert, Lola and Mailina Wolf, to their partners Ralph Till, Ryan Bump, Julie Jussif and Andrew Riotto, and to his great grandchildren, Mason and Henry Bump and Joanna Eckert.
Jim was born in New Albany, Indiana, but grew up in Louisville. He attended Flaget High School and received a BS and MBA from the University of Louisville.
As a young man Jim loved stunt flying in a Piper Cub. During the Korean War, Jim served in the Counter Intelligence Corps in Japan, his first of many trips overseas. Upon returning to Louisville, he began his 35 year career with General Electric Major Appliances Division in the Labor Relations Department. He later transferred to the Sales and Distributions Department and accepted positions over the subsequent years in Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
After his retirement in 1990, Jim and Nanette lived in Vienna Austria where Nanette was employed and from where they initiated many tours throughout Europe and the Middle East. Jim loved camping, biking, skiing and hiking and dazzled onlookers when swing dancing with Nanette. He enjoyed tennis into his mid-80’s and was an enthusiastic member of the Needham Pool and Racquet Club and the Needham Tennis Club. Jim was a member of the Needham Exchange Club and Needham Retired Men’s Club. He assisted shoppers as part of Roche Brother’s Bus Program and for 20 years he delivered meals with the Needham Traveling Meals Program.
Visitation will be held in the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Ave, Needham, on Friday November 2nd from 4-7 pm. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, November 3rd at 10AM at St. John the Evangelist Church, 9 Glen Road, Wellesley, MA. The burial will be at the Calvary Cemetery in Louisville Kentucky. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.