Giving Life a Second Chance
Through Organ & Tissue Donation

"Threads of Love" Donor Memorial Quilt: Quilt 45

Robert W. Eckerle, Jr.

Robert W. Eckerle, Jr.

Rob, or how we had fondly come to know him, “Bigz”, was a very animated, loving and generous person with an unforgettable booming voice. His presence was always known and felt, and for that reason his physical loss has been even more prominent. When you walked into the room where he was, Bigz always made it a point, even if he did not know you, to make sure that you felt welcome and part of the conversation. A common practice for Bigz was always to characterize someone with a nick name. So before you would leave, you were someone else to Bigz. It was how he associated with people and also made special connections. Everyone who met him, almost always, became immediately attracted to him.

Bigz always had a generous heart. From the love he had for family, which included being a very devoted husband and father, to giving his time as a talented coach: he always had something to give and always thought of himself last. A kind word, a strong hug, some strong words of advice. He was definitely one of the most generous people that I had ever met. He was a firm believer in organ donation and always wanting to help others. One of his famous lines that we repeat in his honor, which enforces his love of family and dedication: “Family is the way of the future!”

Bigz was also a person of integrity and honesty. He believed in always showing who you really are, not having false heirs. If he found someone who he liked and admired, he would say, “Now that person is the real deal”. It meant that this person had earned his respect and that was very important to him. First, that you had his respect and second, that you respected others.

The picture that was used for his quilt was taken in 2007, and although you do not see him, Bigz was standing with my father, a person who Bigz greatly respected. The words around his picture identify all of the various titles and descriptive characteristics that he has held over the years. To us, he was the real deal, a one of a kind and surely an individual who will never be replaced. Knowing that he is living on in others makes it a comfort for our family that Rob/Bigz is still on this earth making family the way of the future.

We miss and love you very much, Rob (“Bigz”) Eckerle!

Much love from your wife,

Mary Lou Eckerle

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