Harvey J. Eckert
12/17/1946 – 8/13/2020
Harvey, who answered more to Hog or Dietz, because nothing is more fun than having either of those two nicknames, was born in Okauchee, Wisconsin and raised in neighboring Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Hog graduated from Oconomowoc High School in 1965. He was a stellar athlete in which he played football, basketball and baseball throughout all four years. His skills and efforts resulted in a scholarship to University Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
College studies got interrupted due to the Vietnam War as he then was drafted into the military for two years. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Korea. Once he returned he resumed college and graduated from Stevens Point earning his Bachelor’s Degree and later completed his Master’s Degree at University Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Hog began teaching high school history in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin along with being the football coach, golf coach and student guidance counselor. He then moved to Florida for a short period of time and once he returned to Wisconsin he decided to do what he enjoyed and that was carpentry. He was truly a gifted craftsman and woodworker. He eventually became a co-owner in a pre-hung door and custom home building business in DeForest, Wisconsin.
But then warmer weather started calling his name again and due to his love of golf he moved to golf friendly Phoenix, Arizona in 1979 to put into motion his long standing career as a golf pro. He started out at Thunderbird Country Club in Phoenix as assistant pro under 8 time PGA Tour Champion Jim Colbert. Hog entered into a field that was filled with young men and since he was in his mid thirties taking this path, he was considered the “old man” of those, as he would say, “little hooligans” all working toward achieving the goal of becoming a PGA Pro. He reached his goal and eventually was offered and accepted the Head Pro position at Wickenburg Golf Club in Wickenburg, Arizona.
His next adventure took him to Pleasanton, California where he started teaching private golf lessons. The part he loved the most of his time there was when he was teaching junior golf as he gained much satisfaction coaching the younger age group. Their enthusiasm for the game and positive attitudes in wanting to learn gave him such great reinforcement as to why he got into this profession overall.
Getting closer to retirement he returned to Arizona in order to use more of his own free time golfing with his buddies just for the pleasure of it. At that same time he also decided to get back into carpentry and took on only projects that were of interest to him.
At the time of his death at age 73, he was residing in Apache Junction, Arizona.
Survivors include his siblings Thomas (Carolyn) Eckert, Paul (Laura) Eckert, Red (Bunny) Eckert, Terese (Bob) Looysen, Marian (Bill) Hazard, Camille (Steve) Hamme and sister-in-law, Evie Eckert along with many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Harvey and Ruth (Smith) Eckert, brother Ron Eckert and sister Kathleen Grimm.
There will be no services, but a Celebration of Life will be held in the Spring of 2021. Interment will be at a later date at the National Veterans Cemetery in Phoenix AZ.
You could always count on a “Love Ya, Darl’n” along with “Who Loves Ya, Baby” or “How YOU Doin’! ” coming from him when seeing friends and family.
He will be dearly missed as he was always the life of the party!