Cover photo for Steven Eckhoff's Obituary
Steven Eckhoff Profile Photo
1953 Steven 2019

Steven Eckhoff

June 16, 1953 — March 26, 2019

Steven Richard Eckhoff was born in Pontiac, Illinois on June 16, 1953. He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin in 2018. He is survived by wife Donna; their children Johnny (Marycruz) and Jeremee. Also surviving are his mother, Patricia and three sisters, Marge (Stephen), Jeanne, and Dee (John.)

He graduated from Roanoke-Benson, Illinois High School in 1971. He was involved in FFA, excelled in scholastics, & was awarded the American Legion School Award. Growing up on a family farm, Steve was involved with raising pigs in 4-H and helping his father grow corn and soybeans. Steve played basketball & competed in track, however the school didn't have a football team. He made a decision in third grade that he was going to play college football. Growing up he attended many high school football games in Metamora or Washington, IL. His Uncle Marty Stromberger was a successful football coach in Metamora H.S. Growing up, every Sunday evening the extended family would gather for dinner at their grandparent's house, followed by back yard football, where Steve learned more about the game.

After graduation, Steve attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL where he majored in Physics. He fulfilled his childhood dream and played college football...his freshman year playing many positions, becoming a nose guard. The line coach stated in the Pantagraph Sports paper, "If you had 40 Steve Eckhoffs, you'd never have to win and you'd still enjoy coaching. This is sort of an old cliché but he gives 120 per cent every day. And if you had 40 Steve Eckhoffs, I think you'd win a lot of games." Physics and college football was very demanding, but Steve never thought of quitting. His perseverance would be tested over & over. Steve became a member of the National Honor Fraternity, Blue Key. Steve became a Theta Chi Fraternity member and maintained life long friendships. The Theta is basically taken from the form of therapeutic and the Chi is part of the Greek word for hand. HELPING HAND is their motto and thru Steve's life, these fraternity brothers have helped each other out in many ways.

Steve earned his Master's Degree & PhD in Agricultural Engineering at Purdue Univ. & earned numerous honor society memberships. He worked for two years at the USDA Lab in Peoria, IL He married Donna on November 3, 1979 and they led Investigative Bible Studies thru the Navigators Couples Campus Ministry during their Purdue years.

Steve's career was as a teaching/research Professor at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (5 yrs.) and then to the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Agricultural & Biological Engineering Dept. (24 yrs.) He was an agricultural engineering consultant. In 2007, Steve had the opportunity to travel to Israel with Donna and he offered free agricultural consulting to an important kibbutz. Steve retired early in 2012 due to health challenges.

Steve's life was changed dramatically when at age 42; he was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease. The neurological disease, plus the meds caused continual challenges with mobility issues. Perseverance & moving to Sun City West, AZ provided Steve with the opportunity to be seen by specialists at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Mayo Clinic and the Muhammad Ali Center. Steve also sang with the West Valley Tremble Clefs Choir after relocating to AZ, year round. As the neurological issues progressed, Steve also had cardiovascular health challenges, which put him into the excellent care of Hospice of the Valley.

Steve peacefully entered the Kingdom of Heaven on March 26, 2019 at 10:02 AM. The months prior to his graduation to Heaven, he spent time with his sons & daughter in love, fraternity brothers, sister Marge & her husband, niece & great niece, numerous friends, Pastor Bruce, and his wife. His life touched many lives as a son, brother, husband, father, friend, student, professor, coach, mentor to graduate students, engineer, vocalist & song writer, athlete, fraternity brothers, and global consultant. He loved God and he loved others.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held April 6, at 11 AM, at Palm West Community Church Workship Center. A light luncheon will follow in Hoover Hall.

Palm West Community Church Worship Center
13845 W. Stardust Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375

Another Celebration of Life Service will be held in Champaign County, Illinois where Steve lived and worked for many years. Date & details are pending at this time for the Illinois service.

Donations in Steve's memory may be made to:

ANGEL FUND at PWCC Palm West Community Church
13845 W. Stardust Blvd.
Sun City West, AZ 85375-5466

Donna Eckhoff
12526 W. Seneca Drive
Sun City West, AZ 85375
*Donna will collect the TCA donations and give to Sun Joo Lee-Choir Director & Music Therapist.

Service Details.


When: Saturday, April 6th, 2019 11:00am
Location: Palm West Community Church
Address: 13845 W. Stardust Blvd Sun City West, AZ 85375

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