Kenneth Warren Eckle, age 98 of Tucson, AZ passed away June 21, 2021. Born on his grandfather Pell’s farm in Ebenezer, NY on April 11, 1923.
On January 13th, 1943, he was inducted into the Air Transport Command of the Army Air Force and sent to training as a parachute rigger and emergency equipment technician which formed the new Emergency Equipment Division at Presque Isle. Ken was honorably discharged February 25th, 1945.
Ken moved to Tucson, AZ with his wife, Natalie and two daughters in 1959. He and a friend from Buffalo opened the original Casas Adobes Flower Shop behind the fountain in Casas Adobes Plaza. The family ran this until 1973 when they sold the flower shop so Ken could continue with his next venture: silversmithing. He and his wife built a silversmithing studio out of railroad ties where he continued to work until his early 90’s.
Ken had many friends, was an avid reader of western history, pun-master, pilot, artist, florist, a self-taught silversmith, and an avid horseman. His talents included making Kachina’s, all types of Indian style jewelry, over 65 pairs of spurs, sculpting in bronze and wire, casting with lost wax and hand-carved molds. He was often the trail boss due to his exceptional knowledge of canyons at several ranches in the Sonoita area. He rode with The Rotary Club, Saddle Mountain Club, Co-Ed Ride, was past president of the Los Charros del Desierto Ride and was an original member of the Anvil Ride. In 2015, Ken and a friend took the Honor Flight to Washington, DC to visit the war memorials. Ken and nine other WWII Veterans were honorable Grand Marshals for the 2020 Tucson Rodeo.
Ken is survived by his daughters, Linda Eckle of Tucson, and Kathy Hood (Phil) of Missouri; grandchildren, Ian Lamma (Michelle), Ariel Sanders, Rose Ballantyne (Taylor) and great-grandson Ryan Lamma and great grand-daughter Evelyn Kathleen Ballantyne. A Celebration of Ken’s life will be on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2021, at Catalina State Park. Details of this event will be forthcoming.
Family and friends offer a sincere thank you to all the staff at Pura Vida Assisted Living and Agape Hospice for their compassionate care and companionship.
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