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Greg Eichelberger


1961 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Greg Eichelberger Obituary
Greg Eichelberger, 56, finally shuffled off of this mortal coil (just Google it) on Friday, March 2, 2018. He passed away of a) complications from heart disease, b) complications from diabetes, c) complications from an irregular heartbeat, d) complications from being a fat slob.
He was born on May 10, 1961 in Carbondale, Ill., the second son of George W. and Juanita Eichelberger, who were eventually divorced and have since passed away themselves.
He spent his childhood in St. Louis, Mo., attending schools in the suburb of Florissant, including DeSmet Elementary, Faith Christian Academy, Child Center: Our Lady Of Grace (he was a bit touched, you know), Salem Lutheran and finally, Lutheran High School North (the latter two institutions quite surprising since he was never a member of the Lutheran church).
"After graduating in 1979, I began taking lessons from elders from the , finally being baptized in November," he said. "Subsequently, I joined a singles ward (St. Louis Eighth) and had some of the best times in my life there. After graduating from Florissant Valley Community College in 1981, I received my call to the Colorado Denver Mission. It was a wonderful, spiritually-strengthening experience."
Eichelberger returned from his Mission in 1983 to a new and different world. For instance, when he departed, Christopher Cross had several songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, but when he came back, Cross was nowhere to be found in the MTV age.
Meanwhile, after a few meaningless years of bumming around, he decided to join the United States Navy, where he billeted as a naval cryptologist. He spent time in Pensacola, Fla., Rota, Spain and (finally) San Diego before being honorably discharged. In that latter city, he met his wife, Melba, and they were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple on Oct.15, 1988. Melba had six children, Victoria, Genaro, Angela, Julian, Tallia and Jennifer and Greg loved and helped raise them as his own. On Dec. 27, 1989, the family welcomed a new addition, Matthew Mark Eichelberger. Unfortunately, in 1998, Greg and Melba suffered a divorce.
"I spent the majority of my time after that raising my son," he said. "I did not date anyone or have much of a social life, but spent as much time with him as I could. I was working for several newspapers such as Forum Publications and the Daily Californian, so I took him to many different assignments, including to Qualcomm Stadium (and later, Petco Park) as I covered the San Diego Padres (baseball) and San Diego Chargers (football) for more than a decade."
Matthew also played every level of baseball himself, from T-ball to a spot on the El Capitan High School (Lakeside, Calif.) Vaqueros team. Greg attended almost everyone of his son's games, even announcing many of them with trivia contests and player-chosen walk-up music. 
Matthew graduated in 2008, the same year Greg met Shelly and her children, Nathan, Melissa, Jonathan and Elizabeth. He loved them and once again took them under his wing. Greg and Shelly were married on Christmas Eve 2008. And while he cared for all of the children, Greg had a special place for Nathan, who loved him as his own real father.
"I worked at the East County Californian, the East County Herald, the Daily Signal (Los Angeles), the Price (Utah) Sun-Advocate, the Idaho State Journal (Pocatello), the Weiser (Idaho) Signal American and the Blackfoot (Idaho) Morning News," Greg said. "But the best time I ever had was doing film reviews. In fact, for five years (2007-13) I was co-host with Kevin Finnerty on the KOGO-AM radio show, 'The Movie Guys' in San Diego."
Later, as a reviewer for the website Critical Critics.com, he authored hundreds of other critiques and added even more for the Morning News. Nathan would often accompany him to see a variety of films.
"It's been an interesting life," Greg said. "Many sad moments, but also many wonderful and unique experiences. I have always believed in reincarnation, so this is an opportunity to see if that concept does in fact exist. If so, all the better; if not, well, what difference does it make? I tried to do the best I could and live the way the Bible, the Book Of Mormon, the Torah and other great missives have exemplified."
He was preceded in death by his grandparents George W. and Catherine Eichelberger and Herb and Edith Smith; parents George Eichelberger, Jr. and Jaunita Smith; uncle Don Smith and aunt Clara Smith.
Greg is survived by his sons Matthew, San Diego; Nathan, Pocatello and Nathan's son, Christopher; his lovely wife, Shelly, and her children, Pocatello; former spouse, Melba and her children, San Diego; a brother, George Eichelberger III, St.Louis; half brother, Steve, Cobden, Ill.; half-sisters Jean-Ann, Cobden, Ill.; Judy, St. Louis; Carol, St. Louis; Gail, St. Louis; Terry, St. Louis; as well as uncles Carl and Denny.
According to Greg's wishes, no funeral services are planned.
Published in The Morning News on Mar. 6, 2018
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