William J. Eschbacher, 89, of Sedalia, died Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 at the Missouri State Veterans Home in St. James.
He was born and raised in Sedalia where he married Helen Schneider in 1950 and together had five children. He was a life-long parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church where he was president of the Home and School Association in the 1960s. He was a 1941 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School and a graduate of the Sedalia Business College. He was a staff sergeant cryptographer in the U.S. Air Force during World War II, and worked as secretary to the General Manager of the Katy Railroad shops in Sedalia following his military service. As a partner in the Eschbacher family woodworking business, General Wood Products, he created custom cabinets, trophy plaques and casino gaming products.
His varied interests included archeology, photography, painting, sculpting and butterfly collecting. He was a past president of the Sedalia Arts Council and a former secretary/treasurer of the Central Missouri Archeological Society. His archeological discoveries have been reported in the Missouri Archeological Society Quarterly. He was awarded a certificate of honor from the University of Missouri Department of Archeology.
He had a life-long love and appreciation of the Missouri countryside and its natural beauty. He taught his children a great love for the outdoors by taking them on outings to the “country” nearly every Sunday. In his retirement years, he enjoyed taking in the view on his acreage atop a bluff overlooking the scenic Lamine River valley in northeast Pettis County.
He was a man of humor, creativity and intellect. He loved his family and was ever the loyal husband and dependable father. His sense of wonder and curiosity about the physical world around him fostered in his children an interest in exploration and learning.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Lorene Eschbacher, and his brother James Eschbacher. He is survived by one brother, Robert Eschbacher, his wife Helen and son Joseph Eschbacher, all of Sedalia. Also surviving are a daughter Jean Malsam and her husband Mike, of Sugar Land, Texas; son Mark Eschbacher and his wife Tish, of Glenmoore, Penn.; son Thomas Eschbacher and his wife Diane of Missouri City, Texas; daughter Linda Edwards Gockel and her husband Dan of Austin City, Texas, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Mark Miller officiating. Prayers of the rosary will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, with visitation to follow until 8 p.m. at McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Sacred Heart Church, in care of McLaughlin Funeral Chapel.