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John K. Eichman, 62, of Barronett, WI, died on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 in Eau Claire, WI.
He was born on March 24, 1960 in Hastings, MN to Kenneth and Beverly (Horbach) Eichman, and was raised on the family farm in Prescott, WI. John graduated from Prescott High School where he excelled in everything.
In 1980 John joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. He also studied two years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In the service he was recognized as being an asset to the 820th Civil Engineer Squadron, Heavy Repair, Red Horse. He had several roles including construction equipment operator, management training, explosive ordnance disposal technician and also qualified as an “expert” in small-arms marksmanship.
After leaving the Air Force, John worked on the family farm and drove truck over the road. He later joined the Teamsters, then on June 1, 2000 he joined the International Union of Operating Engineers known as the 49’rs in Minnesota. All the guys in the Union’s referred to him as “IKE”.
John would say one of his greatest accomplishments, he was really proud that he laid every inch of the track for the first lite rail in Minnesota! John started running cranes which became his new passion. He even operated a crane, building the Viking Stadium. After he got laid off, he would go to the 49’rs training facility in Hinckley, MN to keep all his numerous certificates up to date.On July 19, 2017 John was rear ended by a roll-off dump truck after work! His life changed drastically! He was now unable to do the thing in life that he loved so much, fishing. Forcing him to take early retirement from the 49’rs! John then relocated to Barronett where he planted a garden which became his new passion along with cooking and grilling, as well as listening to “Time to Trade”.
John had the biggest heart and the brightest smile. He had a beautiful voice and loved calling to the morning doves. He was funny, liked to laugh, was a very compassionate man, hard worker, and proud of his accomplishments! He was always willing to help or do anything for any one!
John is survived by his wife Cathy, the love of his life, they met in 1990. He heard on the radio that KQRS was picking 14 couples to be married on the radio station in Duluth on Valentine’s Day February 14, 1997. You had to write something to the radio station that is true and funny. They looked at each other and said, “What in our life has been funny”, they entered that and won! John would always say “it’s just you and me”! Which Cathy would reply “it’s the Lord, you and me” and he would agree!
John is further survived by his sons Josh Eichman and Ryan (Allison) Larson; step son Chad Brown; grandchildren whom he adored that called him Papa John: Haley, Noah, Josh, Martin, and Kathryn; sister in law Lynne (Bruce) Snyder; brother in law Steven (Karen) Rodberg; best friend Miles Fallin; great friend Clayton Johnson; neighbors Duane and Scott; and many other relatives and friends.
Preceding him in death are his parents; mother in law Eda A. Rodberg; step son Jamie R. Brown; and brothers in law John L. Rodberg and Michael L. Rodberg.
A Celebration of Life will be held on November 12, 2022 at 2:00 pm at the Barronett Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 1:30 pm until the time of service. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Shaw Township, MN.
Cremation Society of Wisconsin, Altoona is assisting the family. Online condolences may be shared at www.cremationsociety-wi.com.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of John here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.