Arthur George “Art” Eckheart was blessed with his final wish to pass away peacefully in the house where he was born. He joined his Lord and family in heaven on Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the age of 74 years.
Funeral Service: 10:30 A.M. Thursday, August 19, 2021, at St. John Lutheran Church, Arlington, with Pastor Clark Baldwin officiating.
Visitation: 3:00 to 7:00 P.M. Wednesday at the Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home, Arlington, and for one hour before the service at the church on Thursday. Interment: Reed Cemetery, rural Arlington, Iowa.
Condolences may be mailed to: Art Eckheart Family, P.O. Box 614, Oelwein, Iowa 50662.
Online obituary at www.jamisonschmitzfuneralhome.com
Art was the son of Eldo Arthur & Eileen Bertha (Heth) Eckheart. He was born during a raging blizzard on February 4, 1947, in the house his grandparents built in 1920 east of Arlington. Art lived in that house his entire life, bringing his bride, Dorothy Jean (Murphy), there following their wedding on February 17, 1968, at the Presbyterian Church in Wadena, Iowa. They were blessed with a daughter, BilliJo Alice.
Art was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church, Arlington, Iowa. He attended the Arlington Public School and when the school consolidated, he attended Starmont his senior year, graduating in 1965 – the first class to graduate at Starmont.
Besides his family, Art’s passion was his farm, caring for the land and livestock, including horses. His first date with Dorothy was an evening trail ride with just the two of them on the farm. Later while dating, he stole her heart when he hooked Whiskey, the horse that brought them together, to the old sleigh for a moonlight ride, while he played Christmas carols on a transistor radio, as they crossed the family farm they would later share together for 53 years. They shared the love of their land with many others when they created a beautiful picnic area deep in the woods on their farm. Many will remember Art fixing delicious meals over the campfire.
Art enjoyed hunting with his dad, uncles, Alfred & Ed, and neighbor Dorn Eckheart while growing up. This led to deer hunting years later with Art hunting for over 30 years with a group that came together each day during the season in the basement of the Eckheart home for food and laughter. He enjoyed watching the younger hunters acquire a passion for the sport.
Art’s care for animals and love for horses became a career as a horseshoer for 48 years. While staying busy with off-the-farm jobs, milking cows, farm work and family, Art made time to travel many miles as far away as Guttenberg and Cedar Falls to take care of horse’s feet and put on shoes for them. No disposition or size of animal deterred Art. He worked on the hooves of miniature horses, ponies, saddle horses, huge draft horses and a few mules of various sizes. When he was no longer able to work on the hooves due to his health, Art taught his daughter and enjoyed watching her learn the trade under his supervision.
Besides milking cows and raising crops, Art welded lots of machinery for neighbors with an old welder with wooden sides that his dad had purchased in the early 50’s, helped others with fieldwork when needed, and was active in the Volga River Riders Saddle Club, holding the position of president for several years. Art, Dorothy and BilliJo hosted many trail rides on their farm and neighboring land.
After selling the milk cows and renting the cropland out, he still baled the hay ground with his beloved John Deere tractors making small square bales for the horses they always had around to enjoy. Art also worked 18 years at AMPI Creamery, Arlington, until he retired in 2011. He helped Dorothy and BilliJo with their family project of collecting and delivering items for the homeless in Cedar Rapids, helping Dorothy, who was secretary of One in Faith Parish, by folding bulletins and assembling the monthly newsletter. You could also find Art continuing to enjoy his farm with Dorothy on their John Deere Gator.
Those remaining to cherish Art’s memory are, Dorothy, his wife of 53 years; his daughter: BilliJo Eckheart of Arlington; Sister: Gloria Aylsworth of Wadena; many In-Laws, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, and close friends whose friendship he cherished.
Art was preceded in death by his parents; a very special uncle: Alfred Eckheart, who in 1968 became his step-father; grandparents: George & Ida Eckheart and Paul & Emma Heth; half-brother: Richard McAllen and numerous aunts & uncles.