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 Blackmerfuneralhome.com