Retired Lt. Col. Jimmie Ronald Eckard, 88, of Parksley, passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2023. He was born in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 24, 1934, to the late Oscar Paul and Janie Idelle (Smith) Eckard.
Jimmie attended Thomasboro School through the 11th grade and graduated second in his class from West Mecklenburg High School in 1952. He then attended and graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering in 1958 and a Master of Public Affairs in 1981. He remained a huge NC State fan throughout his life and supported the University through the Alumni Association and serving as a scholarship advisor.
After graduation Jimmie joined the U.S. Army. He served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star with Clusters and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Everywhere he was stationed, he became an active member of the community and the local United Methodist Church. He retired in 1978 and later moved back to his hometown, Charlotte, N.C. Jimmie became a farmer, and for 20 years, ran an apple and peach orchard with over 400 trees.
Following retirement from the orchard business in 2000, Jimmie and Nellie moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and became loyal members of Grace United Methodist Church in Parksley, transferring membership from Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Charlotte.
Once again, he became an active member of his Parksley community. He enjoyed the daily “Coffee Club” at the Club Car Café, followed by his rounds to greet Post Office workers then bringing mail by the church. He greeted and had a friendly word for everyone he saw, often sharing photos of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren during conversation. He will be missed by church members, bank tellers, clerks at Jaxon’s, waitresses in every restaurant, and many others in the community.
Jimmie is predeceased by his wife, Nellie Eckard, to whom he was married for over 61 years; sister, Nancy Eckard, of Charlotte, N.C.; and daughter, Amy Eckard, of Temperanceville.
He is survived by two children, Karl Eckard, of Charlotte, and Kathie Eckard Herrera (Juan), of Gainesville, Fla.; three grandchildren, Thomas Herrera (Cristi), Joseph Herrera (Megan), and Caroline Herrera; and five great-grandchildren, Sofia, Nico, Max, Joseph, and Oliver.
A funeral service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church, in Parksley, on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Bill McClung officiating.
A funeral service will also be conducted from the chapel at Forest Lawn West Cemetery, in Charlotte, on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Daniel Wilson officiating. Interment will follow.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at
Arrangements are by the Williams-Parksley Funeral Home.