- SSS charter member Robert J. Eccles, of Bridgewater, NJ passed away Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Robert was born in Alexandria, VA to John H. and Lillian “Jane” Eccles.
After graduating from Bernards High School in Bernardsville, NJ, Robert married his high school sweetheart, Jean Ortman Eccles, in 1960 and served as a captain in the United States Air Force for six years piloting the F100 Super Sabre in the 356 and 531 Tactical Fighter Squadrons.
Upon his honorable discharge in late 1965, he flew as a commercial pilot for United Airlines for 33 years until retirement in 1998.
Robert and Jean happily raised their children in Bridgewater and enjoyed winters in their home in Bonita Springs, FL. An avid bluegrass music fan, Robert enjoyed playing guitar with his musical friends. A pilot’s pilot, he also flew various aircraft at Somerset Airport with fellow aviation enthusiasts. As a skilled mechanic, he could usually be found in “Ec’s Garage” whistling while he worked.
He will forever be remembered with love and dearly missed by his wife of 57 years, Jean, his children Susan Eccles, Nancy Cloutier (Nick), Robert Eccles, Jr. “Skip” (Patti), his grandchildren Alexandra and Elizabeth Cloutier, Taylor Eccles, and Michelle Pirrello, and his entire extended family and many dear friends. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Jane Moore.
The Eccles family is grateful for the loving support of friends and family as we honor the memory of “Ec – The Big Guy.”
~Blue Skies and Tailwinds Forever~
Memorial Visitation will be held Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 10:00 am to 11:15 am, followed by a remembrance service until 12:00 pm at Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home, 101 South Finley Avenue, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. For further information, or to light an online condolence candle, please visit www.gcfuneralhome.com
Today in History – September 25, 1918 – Eddie Rickenbacker attacks 7 enemy planes near Billy, France.
25 September 1918 – Eddie Rickenbacker is quoted as saying, “Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.” Rickenbacker’s Medal of Honor Citation reads: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Billy, France, 25 September 1918.