James R. Eicker

James R. Eicker, Lansdowne, passed away peacefully on 7/28/23 in his 89th year, surrounded by loving family.

Jim was born in Ephrata, PA to Catherine Weinhold Spangler and Walter R. Eicker.  He had a lifelong love of Lancaster County, his family’s history and PA Dutch foods.  Jim’s family moved to Philadelphia when he was a child but in the summer, he continued to go back to the Lancaster County farms of his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family moved to Lansdowne and Jim attended Lansdowne High School, and it was there that he met the love of his life, Carol Ann Baxter.  Jim played football and baseball and Carol was a cheerleader. They married just after graduation.  Jim enlisted in the Navy as an Electrician and was stationed on the USS William C. Lawe.  He loved his time in the Navy and had many stories to tell.  Jim was honorably discharged and went to work for Bell Telephone.

Jim and Carol had four adoring daughters:  Susan, Donna, Kimberly, and Jennifer.  He was a loving, supportive and affectionate “Girl Dad” long before the term became popular.  Later in life he was also larger than life in the lives of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“Big Jim” loved Avalon, NJ and his boat, “Big Momma” moored at Sunrise Marina.  He gave his daughters and grandchildren many happy summer memories over the years…so much so it is hard to think of Jim without thinking of Avalon.

Jim was in building construction for over 50 years, first as an independent contractor, then as building superintendent with large construction companies.  He was always a teacher of his craft, even to his 4 girls.  Jim taught them analytical, critical thinking and problem solving for their own DIY projects, and in life.  Jim was an extraordinarily hard worker and shared these skills with many a young man working for him.

“Mr. Jim”, as he was affectionally known to his neighbors, lived in Gladstone Manor, Lansdowne for 32 years.  He could be seen on the porch or putzing around the house, smoking a cigar with a dog at his side and laptop on his table, watching the Phillies or playing video poker. He’d wave and chat to neighbors going by.  Shortly after Carol’s passing in April 2023, Jim went to live with his grandson, Ed, and his loving family in Ridley Park. They treated him like a king. and took him to his beloved Avalon for weekends and vacation in his final months. Jim passed away peacefully and happy. 

Jim leaves his daughters, brothers Charles (Patty) and Gary (Beverly), 7 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews with his treasured memory.

Daddy, Pop, Jim, Big Jim, Uncle Jim….thank you for always making sure we knew how much you loved us!

Memorial Service at Toppitzer Funeral Home in Arlington Cemetery, 2900 State Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Visitation:  Tuesday , September 5, 2023 in the chapel at Toppitzer  12:30 pm-1:30 pm

Private service 

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