The Executive Board and the Board of Directors is deeply saddened to hear one of our Lifetime Members (#82) Martin "Buddy" Eckert passed away on March 1, 2018.   Buddy was well known for his Tailgating spot at our Annual Convention.  He was also  known for his Maple Syrup and for several years Buddy was the top seller of our Calendar fundraising efforts.  We will miss Buddy at our Convention but he will be not be forgotten.   TIGHTS CHAINS our Friend.
Martin L. (Bud) Eckert, 83, of Whispell Road, West Shokan, died on the full moon and first day of meteorological spring, Thursday, March 1, 2018 at Kaplan House in Newburgh after a short illness. He was born June 22, 1934, the son of the late Martin A. and Ann (McSpirit) Eckert, and was a lifelong resident of West Shokan. He was a descendant of George Adam Eckert and Jane Weeks, who settled in West Shokan circa 1790. He acquired the nick-name "Buddy" as a small child, because that's how his sister Florence pronounced "brother." He learned to make maple syrup with his dad at the age of 7, and operated High Point Pure Maple Syrup until his recent illness. He was a familiar sight at local craft fairs, where he sold maple products, honey, artifacts, mittens, and moccasins. He also was an experienced basket maker, taking strips of ash from a soaked log to weave. He built the baskets the same way Native Americans did centuries ago. For many years, he had an insulation business and worked for local contractors. 
As a boy, he was a talented ballplayer. He was a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and pitched for the West Shokan baseball team. Many people in town who followed the team said if only a baseball scout could have seen him pitch. He was a member of the Boy Scouts, and served as Assistant Scout Master Bud had a sharp memory, an interest in local history and genealogy, and he was a voracious reader. He developed this skill at Bushkill School when the teacher, Mrs. Daisie Winchell, gave him Field and Stream magazine, rather than a boring primer to read. He was unmatched in telling colorful stories about the people in the Town of Olive's past. He also loved nature and the outdoors, and was an avid hiker, waking up on the first day of the new Millennium on Balsam Cap after hiking there in a blinding snowstorm on New Year's Eve. He often took interested folks on mountain tours for the Olive Free Library, most recently in 2017. He was a member of the Bushkill Rod and Gun Club, the NYS and Pennsylvania Trappers Associations, and the NYS Maple Producers Association.
He is survived by his beloved Treeing Walker Coonhound Sally; two sisters, Florence (Dino) Giuliano and Dorothy Mancuso; three nephews, Martin (Mary) Giuliano, Michael (Mary Lou) Giuliano and Louis (Linda) Mancuso; four nieces, Janette (Edward) Kahil, Gina Giuliano (Robert Schmidt), Nancy (Roger) Parmalee and Diane Fehring; fifteen grandnieces and grandnephews, thirteen great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, several cousins and a multitude of close friends. Bud was a humble person who lived simply, and his loss will be keenly felt by the entire West Shokan community and beyond. A Service to Celebrate the Life of Bud Eckert will be held on Monday March 12th at 10am at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia. Burial will be in the family plot at the Mt. Pleasant Rural Cemetery, Mt. Tremper. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Ulster County SPCA, 20 Weidy Road, Kingston 12401. Friends will be received on Sunday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home.
Photo's Courtesy of Buddy's longtime friend Hoppie.  Obituary Link

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