Lester Paul Eckert, 83, of Charleston, SC joined hands with God and others who preceded him on Friday, May 21, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving daughters as he passed peacefully through the gates of heaven.
Born on August 29, 1937 in York, PA, Lester was a son of the late Clyde W. Eckert and Romaine Grimm Eckert.
Lester grew up in Red Lion, PA, and was raised by his grandmother, Bertha McCoy Eckert, who took in a troublesome boy and helped to raise him into an honest, hard-working young man. He joined the US Navy in 1955 and served for three years on the USS Laffey DD724, where he was in charge of the Evaporator Gang.
While recovering from a broken nose in a hospital in Norfolk, VA, he saw a pretty lady walk by and asked her to play a game of checkers. It just happened to be Ludine Oliver, who was visiting her brother-in-law who had been injured while on duty. She stopped to play checkers and he immediately fell in love with her. Upon his discharge in July, 1958, after pursuing Miss Oliver by phone and mail weekly, he moved to Charleston and proposed. They were married by the end of the month. It took them a while, but two little girls were born to complete their family.
Lester joined the Charleston County Police Department in September, 1959, and dutifully served 28 years with the department. During that time, Lester was transferred to the "South District" in the Hollywood/Ravenel/Adams Run area to implement a new substation manned by officers under his command. Lester learned the area quickly, knew the best hidey holes and fishing holes too, and learned the people and their needs and gained their complete trust. At one point, one of the town's trustees wrote a letter to the chief of police stating that he had heard Lester was on a temporary assignment only in that area. He was disturbed of that news and requested that Lester be permanently assigned to the area because of his great work, dignity and the trust that he had gained in everyone in the area. Lester touched a lot of people during his 28 years. He was retired as a senior sergeant in July of 1987.
Since retirement he kept himself busy with his woodworking projects, fishing, helping his neighbors with work around their homes and keeping his own yard beautiful. He was a devoted parishioner of the Methodist church and spent many hours doing volunteer work, building kneelers and other acts of love. He was always doing something for the church, whether it was for children or an event - he was always there if he was needed.
His daughters will remember him as their SUPERMAN, as he was the most wonderful daddy anyone could have chosen.
Besides his parents, Lester is preceded in death by his wife, Ludine Oliver Eckert; his sister, Connie Eckert and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He is survived by his two daughters, Paula Dean Eckert Thrush and Julie Ann Eckert Thrush; granddaughter, Charleigh Amanda Stone Graham; great-grandson, Sylas Marion Graham; sister, Doris Eckert Gemmil and brother, Terry Eckert.
The family will receive friends on Friday, May 28, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home West Ashley to celebrate Lester's life.
A funeral service will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, 3225 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414. Friends and family may park at the funeral home and carpool to the church due to limited parking at the church. Burial will follow at Live Oak Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Charleston, SC.
Memorial contributions may be made to Tricounty Family Ministries, 2105 Cosgrove Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405 or the Charleston Animal Society, 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC 29406.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.mcalister-smith.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL & CREMATION, West Ashley, 2501 Bees Ferry Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, (843) 722-8371.