Rodney W. Eckert, 73

Rodney Eckert passed away peacefully on October 24, 2020 at the age of 73.

Rod was born May 17,1947 to Wayne and Ruby Eckert in Cottonwood, Idaho. He spent his childhood on the family farm raising cattle and farming with his parents and siblings. Rod attended school in Cottonwood where he was involved with sports and music; he had much success playing trumpet in music festivals. Rod graduated in 1965 from Cottonwood High School.

Rod attended the University of Idaho and later transferred to LCSC where he played basketball for two years. In the fall of 1970, he was drafted and spent four months in the army before he was medically discharged. Rod settled in Cottonwood to start working with his father on the family farm and ranch. On Dec 29th,1970 he married Renee Andrews and together they raised four children.

After his father’s death in 1974, Rod and his brother, Keith carried on the family tradition where they farmed and enjoyed showing and breeding Registered Black Angus cattle. In 1986 Keith left the area and Rod continued to run the Eckert Ranch. In 1993, he leased out the ranch and farm ground to long time family neighbors, the Arnzen’s. Rod worked briefly at Lewis Clark Motors and then spent fifteen years working at the Swift Transportation Terminal in Lewiston before retirement.

After retirement, Rod drove bus for the Cottonwood School district and loved every minute of his time with the kids. He had the Salmon River route which gave him the opportunity to get to know the kids, and to this day they still talk about how he was the best bus driver they ever had. Rod loved being a mentor and a role model and he wanted to instill good values and ethics to younger generations, which is evident in the way his grandchildren are today.

He always loved the game of golf and during his later years and into his retirement you would find him on many different golf courses with his family and closest friends. Rod spent many years with his children and grandchildren fishing on the Salmon River. He never tired of watching his children play their many sports and then later his grandchildren.

Rod always made sure his family knew the importance of a good handshake and that everyone needed to be treated with respect. His love and commitment to the Lord, his family and dearest friends will always be cherished.

“You gave your word and stood by it. You gave your help and didn’t expect credit. You gave your heart and made things better for many people.” Author Unknown

He was preceded in death by his Mother (Ruby), Father (Wayne), his brother (Dwight) and his sister (Sally). Rod is survived by his wife of 50 years, Renee, his children Tara (Jeff) Thomas of Covington WA, son Joshua (Charlotte Brooke) Eckert, Amanda (Michael) Gruben and Ryan (Melissa) Eckert all of Lewiston. He was also blessed with 8 grandchildren – Devin, Kyla, Alec, Kannen, Fox, Skye, Trip, and Marlee. Also mourning his loss are his brother Keith, sister Lynn Fink and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

A celebration of life for family and friends will be determined at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations could be sent to Rod’s charities – St Jude Children’s Hospital and Operation Smiles. Arrangements are under the direction of Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family to

Helpful Tip:  How to post condolences.

Condolences to the family of Rodney W. Eckert, 73

  • Leilani Keller says:

    I am so sorry to see this! Rod was the brother of a dear friend of mine. Lynn and I met I. The first grade and I spent a lot of my time on the farm with this family riding horses and exploring and eating a lot of Ruby’s great food! We even drank egg nog at Lynn’s grandmas house! ( never liked it but we drank it anyway. I always had a “secret crush” on Rod! He was always so kind to us, not to mention very good looking! I’m sure he is catching up with Dwight and Ruby and his siblings. Prayers to the family and God Bless you all!

  • ED and Nancy Lustig says:

    So Sorry for your loss! The Eckert family is in our prayers.

  • Cindy Schumacher says:

    To all of the family of Rod Eckert. I am so sorry for your loss. Rod really was an amazing man who dearly loved his family. It was very evident by those of us on the outside, looking in. One time Rod volunteered to drive bus for our 1st graders to go to the pumpkin patch. He didn’t have to volunteer but he told me he did it because he loved being around all of the little kids. No wonder he was loved by the kids on his bus route. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you always, all ways!

  • Larry Houston says:

    Keith and family- I am so sorry to hear the passing of your brother, friend, etc. Keith, I didn’t know any of your sisters, but knew you and both of your brothers. I think the feeling that I have for your family is summarized by that knowledge, and that would be the best people that you could ever know! I am so sorry that both of your brothers are gone now. If it ever works out that if you are up here in God’s country, I would love the opportunity to get together with you for a brief chat. My heart is with you and all of your family! God be with you all. Larry Houston 208-924- 5417

  • Brian Adams says:

    I worked with Rod at Lewis-Clark Motors back in the 90’s
    We became friends and I always enjoyed Rods company. He had a great sense of humor and I was honored to get to know his family. Rod and I had a long standing joke, I would ask him how things were in Greencreek and he’d always respond, “Damn it Brian, I live in Cottonwood! ”
    Rod always had a boisterous laugh.
    He will bissed by many.

  • Rex Wicks says:

    We would like to send sympathy prayers to the Eckert family. Rex enjoyed playing basketball with Rod and always considered him a good friend. Rex and Pudge Wicks

  • Sue T says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Holding you close in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Gary Kendall says:

    I tried to get your address to send a card , but will resign to this. I was shocked to see that he had passed. We were close during the cattle years. What a personable and nice guy. I extend my sympathy to you and the family. He will leave a void and will be missed.

  • >