The Passing of Richard “Dick” Eckburg

Dick’s sudden death was a shock to all who knew him within the adopted city he loved. A native of Illinois, following his military service in the Korean War, he obtained employment with the United Parcel Service (UPS), starting out as a delivery truck driver, and eventually, through hard work, his knowledge, and his continually developing abilities, he rose to become a Vice-President with UPS, his career employer. Upon his retirement, Dick and his wife Judy made Savannah their ‘forever’ home, a move for which we here are forever grateful.

Through the years, Dick made financial gifts, often sizeable, to a number of Savannah institutions and other charitable community causes. One great example was the addition of a badly needed auditorium, bearing his name, on the campus of the highly-regarded Savannah Technical College.

But perhaps the activity that gave him the most personal enjoyment and gratification was the time he spent, and the friendships he made, from among the successive command officers assigned to the 1/75th Army Rangers and the 3/160th Army “Night Stalkers,” both key components of the multi-branch Hunter Army Airfield installation, located here in Savannah. Over the years, Dick and Judy would host these leaders and their wives for dinner at their home, and extend any help needed by these two incredible Army units. He may very well have been their greatest local supporter, staying in close touch with so many of those unit commanders once they had transitioned to succeeding assignments.  In addition to these two units, he always felt very strongly, as well, about all of the men and women serving our nation in the military branches stationed here.

Said Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter, in part: “The death of Dick Eckburg is a great loss to our community.  Dick dedicated his life to philanthropy and helping others. Savannah is a better place because of him.”

Dick Eckburg was a military veteran, a superb community enricher, a true American patriot, a great husband, and a very humble man, never seeking the spotlight.  There is no question that he will be dearly missed by the thousands in the Greater Savannah Area, who have through the years, directly or indirectly, been touched by his continual positive and productive local service efforts and generous gifts. His legacy will be those cumulative community enrichments, both his many funded projects and his wide-ranging personal friendships, all of which will be experienced and endure in our memories for years and years to come.