James R. Eichenberg ’77 died Feb. 10, 2014, in a Temple, Texas, hospital. He was born May 22, 1951 in San Bernardino, CA to William and Laura Eichenberg.
Jim joined the Army as a Private, but after 4 years, he went to Santa Clara University on an ROTC scholarship and re-ntered the Army as a Lieutenant. Jim truly enjoyed his military career which took him worldwide. He retired in 1993 as a Major. While in the Army, Jim received 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 2 Army Commendation Medals, the Good Conduct Medal, the 2 National Defense Service Medals, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, 2 Overseas Service Ribbons, the Parachutist Badge and finally, the Expert Field Medical Badge, of which he was most proud.
Jim married Patti McDonald on September 7, 1986. They adopted 2 girls, Ana and Laura, from Romania while they were stationed in Germany. After a 1 year retirement, Jim returned to work. He spent 4 years in Saudi Arabia with Vinnell Corporation training Saudi Nationals in Field Medical care. After returning stateside, Jim was a Field Manager for Healthnet Federal Services and spent several years in Dallas and Fort Drum, New York. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus in Harker Heights.
Jim was a wonderful husband and father. He was also up for the children’s activities, but he did frequently ask why little girls yelled so much. We were often the site of many sleepovers and watched their impromptu dancing. Jim was a good sport about everything "pink".
Jim was also a "softie" when it came to the dogs, which grew to include 6 shih tzu’s, a rabbit, a hamster and numerous fish. His easy-going nature made him a friend to everyone.
Jim is survived by his wife Patti ’75, daughters Ana and Laura, brothers Bill ’65 (Flo) of Ridgecrest, California, and Tom ’76 (Yvonne) of Elk Grove, California. His sister Katie of Monterey, California passed away in 2011. Jim also leaves niece Caroline Manno ’99, nephews James ’92 and Robert ’94. His father was William Sr. ’41.