Ralph Eickhoff, 97, passed away at Meridian Gardens in Columbus, NE, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016.
   Mr. Eickhoff was born in Falls City on Aug. 24, 1919, the son of Charles and Johanna (Muller) Eickhoff.     He attended local schools and graduated from Falls City High School in 1937.  He farmed until his enlistment in the U.S. Navy in 1942.  He was designated a Naval Aviator and was commissioned Ensign in 1944.  He married Hilda Karst July 4, 1944, in Falls City.
   His military service involved action in the west Pacific during World War II with the liberation of the Philippines, strikes on Japan and the invasion of Okinawa.  
   After the war, he continued to be active in the Naval Reserve.  He enrolled in the University of Nebraska in 1947 and graduated with a BSc in Agriculture in 1953.  Mr. Eickhoff taught On-The-Farm Veterans in Clarkson, NE, for three years the then became a Vocational Agriculture instructor at Columbus High School in 1953.  He received an MSc in Agriculture Education in 1970 from the University of Nebraska.  After teaching at Lakeview High School and with 33 years total teaching time, he retired in 1983.
   Mr. Eickhoff was active in a number of organizations.  He served as President of the Nebraska Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, President and Treasurer of the Columbus Noon Lions Club and also as District Governor of Nebraska Lions District 38-E in 1974-1975 and in 1988-1989.  He served on the Nebraska Lions Eye Bank and the Nebraska Lions Foundation.  He was a Melvin Jones Fellow and received Lion of the Year Award in 1976.  Mr. Eickhoff also started the Children’s Barnyard at the Platte County Fair.
   He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, serving on several church boards including Chairman of the Board of Elders.  He served as Chairman of the AAL Branch 1773, Immanuel Lutheran Layman’s League and Immanuel Couples Club.  He also served as Chairman of the Columbus Area Retired Teachers Association and was a member of AARP.  In addition, Mr. Eickhoff was a member of the VFW, American Legion, and the Military Officers of America.
   He is survived by four children:  Bruce (Tina) Eickhoff of Springfield, VA; Ralph Jr. (Jane) Eickhoff of Delapane, VA; JoAnn (Patrick) Shemek of Parrish, FL; and Larry (Jeannie) Eickhoff of Yorktown, VA; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
   He was preceded in death by his wife, Hilda, parents, and four brothers, Walter, Herbert, Carl and Herman, and one sister, Valeria.
   Mr. Eickhoff enjoyed bowling, playing pool and cards, and gardening.  He sold vegetables at the Columbus Farmer’s Market.
   Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Columbus, with the Revs. Patrick Sparling and Peter Jurchen officiating.  Military honors were given by The American Legion Hartman Post 84 Honor Guard.  Interment was in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Falls City, on Friday, Sept. 9.  Visitation was on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 5-7 p.m at Gass Haney Funeral Home and continued on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m. until the service time at the church.    
   Memorials are suggested the Immanuel Lutheran Church or the donor’s choice.

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