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Gary David Eckrich

December 25, 1959 ~ February 12, 2024 (age 64) 64 Years Old

Gary Eckrich Obituary

Gary David Eckrich, who died peacefully with family on February 12, 2024, was born on Christmas day 1959 and the brother of five sisters, Karen (Tyler), Jennifer (Shannon), Kim, (0ster), Teresa (Sommer), and Maureen (Eckrich). He is survived by his adoring mother Jeanne (Eckrich), his 5 sisters, 11 nieces and nephews, 4 grandnieces and grandnephews, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.

In high school, Gary and his State Champion gymnastics team were among the first U.S. students to visit and compete in China after it opened to the west in 1978. Gary was also an EMT and Director of Operations for Darien, CT’s Post 53 Emergency Medical Services while still a teen. With a lifelong love of reading and learning, Gary attended Georgetown University and graduated with honors from Fairfield University. Gary pursued his passions for art, history, and theatre throughout his life. He was an archivist at the Stockbridge, MA Historical Society and other local museums and an actor in community theatre, including the part of George Gibbs in Thorton Wilder’s Our Town. One of Gary’s favorite hobbies was to sail with his parents and sisters and explore Long Island Sound solo in a Boston Whaler, occasionally returning home with lobsters for the family meal.

Above all, Gary embraced life and love. Yet he also suffered from several illnesses which made life increasingly challenging. Gary drew wisdom and strength from these struggles, and in turn helped others, including his father Herman whom he cared for daily in the last years of his father’s life. Our family is profoundly grateful to Gary’s own caregivers and friends who encouraged and supported him for decades, including his psychiatrist of 22 years, the local community in Woodbury, CT where he lived, and the staff of Danbury Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, and Ogden House, a senior living community where he felt warmly welcomed and supported.

Like his father, Gary loved meeting new people and rarely forgot a name or face. He laughed and smiled easily and exuded warmth, playfulness, and a genuine desire to see the beauty in others. His deep compassion and warm smile remain his legacy to family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at St. John Church in Darien, CT on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 10 AM. Reception to follow.

If you are inclined, please consider a donation in Gary’s honor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/Donate-to-NAMI or Darien’s Post 53, https://post53.org/donate/.  

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