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Edward Relt Eckenrode III

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Edward Relt Eckenrode III Obituary

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ECKENRODE, Edward Relt III Beloved husband of Samantha (Williams) Eckenrode, died at home in Yellow Springs, on May 25th, 2010. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Eddie first came to the Dayton area in 1963 to attend the Dayton Art Institute, which was then part of the University of Dayton. At DAI, his teachers included New York abstract expressionists Jay Milder (painting) and Anne Tabachnick (drawing), and Dayton artist Ray Must (print-making). He also remained lifelong friends with many of his fellow students from DAI who also settled in Yellow Springs and the greater Dayton area, including his first wife, Suzanne (Thomas) Hopkins. In the mid-60s, he left college and moved to New York City, where he stretched canvasses for Roy Lichtenstein, Adolph Gottlieb, and Mark Rothko; worked as an assistant to sculptor Louise Nevelson; maintained a studio across the street from abstract expressionist Adoolph Gottlieb; and painted artist Lester Johnsons apartment in a trade for one of his works. Some of Eddie's other New York artist friends and acquaintances included the late Bob Thompson, (then) husband & wife artist team Red Grooms and Mimi Gross, Bill Barrell, and Christopher Lane. In Yellow Springs, he was well-known as a Xenia Avenue shopkeeper from the early 70s until his death. In 1996, he and his second wife started their own business, "Sam & Eddies Open Books," which featured a book, card and gift shop on the first floor and an art gallery and small performance space upstairs, where together they hosted over 100 public events. A dedicated and gifted painter, Eddie worked daily at the shop and his separate art studio. He left behind an extensive art collection, which is being catalogued, and the family shop, which will continue in its current location as Sam & Eddies Open Books and the Eddie Eckenrode Gallery. Eddie is survived by his wife, Sam, and her mother and brother (Bambi and Whit Williams, of Yellow Springs and Springfield, OH); a sister (Nance Gaston of Harrisburg, PA), three brothers (John Eckenrode of Ithaca, NY; Robert Eckenrode of Aleo Viseo, CA; and Andrew Eckenrode of St. Michaels, FLA); his daughter, Miriam Katherine Eckenrode; and his son, William Polo Chaikwang, along with several loving aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends and surrogate family from around the country. An early memorial service was held on May 30th, 2010 at the Glen Helen Building. On Friday, Oct. 15, there will be a grand opening of the Eddie Eckenrode Gallery dedicated in Eddies memory at Sam & Eddies Open Books, 232 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, OH 45387, 6-9 pm. All are welcome to share memories and enjoy the artists early works. Contributions may be made in Eddies memory to the Glen Helen Ecology Institute, 405 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, OH 45387.

Published in Dayton Daily News on Oct. 14, 2010
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