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Herbert "Whitey" Eckstein


1945 - 2018 Notice Condolences
Herbert "Whitey" Eckstein Notice
Herbert 'Whitey' Eckstein, surrounded by his family, passed peacefully on June 5, 2018 at his Sanford home. Whitey was born May 24,1945 to German immigrants, Felix and Elise Eckstein in Newark, New Jersey. Upon his parents divorce, Whitey moved to New York with his mother and attended St. Ann's Academy where the Marist Brothers set the foundation of his Catholic faith and he made lifelong friends. Whitey quickly accepted the nickname "Whitey" when his middle school basketball coach, Lou Carnesecca, trying to get his attention and not knowing his name, called,"Hey Whitey!" He liked it and used it for the rest of his life. As a young teenager Whitey moved to DeBary, FL with his mother to live with his aunt and uncle, Walter and Katarina Hanl, who continued to raise Whitey after his mother's early death in1961. Whitey graduated from DeLand High School in 1963 and earned a Batchelor's Degree in History from the University of Florida in 1968. With a love for teaching and children, Whitey taught at All Souls Catholic School for ten years where he was able to impact many students in the formation of the Catholic faith as the Marist Brothers had done for him. In 1980, Whitey moved to Seminole High School where he taught American History and Law Studies while serving as the Boys' Golf Coach. During his 22 years at Seminole High School, Whitey touched the lives of many through his teaching, coaching, and mentoring. With an interest in public service and a calling to serve his community, Whitey ran for the City Commission in 1987 and served as a Sanford City Commissioner for four unopposed terms until kidney failure forced him to retire in 2003. Taking great pride in serving his city, Whitey set his sights on economic development such as the Seminole Towne Center Mall, revitalizing the downtown Sanford area, storm water drain issues throughout the city, and restoring the Sanford Memorial Stadium to name a few. When first elected he read that a young child drowned in a Sanford creek. It upset him greatly and he vowed to get a pool for Sanford where every Sanford child had the opportunity to learn to swim. His commitment to this goal never wavered and as a result of pairing funds from the City of Sanford with the Seminole County School Board this goal became a reality with the opening of The Dale Aquatic Center, a community pool at Seminole High School in 2000. After his retirement Whitey continued his service to his community as a board member of Sanford's Airport Authority. Whitey is survived by his wife of 50 years, Patricia Biondi Eckstein, and his five children: Kenneth Eckstein (Lori Vaughan) of Tampa, FL; Christine Eckstein (Peter Schoemann) of Sanford, FL; Susan Eckstein Gaines (Frederic Gaines III) of Sanford, FL; Rick Eckstein (Caroline FitzPatrick Eckstein) of Alpharetta, GA; and David Eckstein (Ashley Drane Eckstein) of Sanford, FL. In addition, Whitey leaves behind 8 grandchildren: Katatina, David, Kenneth, and Ava Eckstein-Schoemann, Elise and Ricky Gaines, Isabel and Grace Eckstein. A memorial mass will be held June 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm at All Soul's Catholic Church, 3280 W. 1st Street (SR#46) in Sanford. Following the service a celebration of Whitey's life will be held at the Seminole High School Dr. Bill Vogel Gymnasium at 2701 Ridgewood Ave, Sanford, FL. All are welcome to join in our celebration. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Florida Hospital Foundation in Whitey's honor. Gifts can be made online at:https://www.floridahospital.com/foundation. Select Make a Gift and from there designate Transplant Institute and in the comments section say that it's for the Transplant House in memory of Whitey. Checks are also accepted to Florida Hospital Foundation and can be mailed to Kathy Turner at 2710 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804. The memo line should note that it's for the Bartch Transplant House for Whitey.
Published in the Orlando Sentinel from June 14 to June 17, 2018
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