In Memory Of

William Eckett - Class Of 1978

CENTERVIEW, Mo. -- William J. “Bill” Eckett, 56, of Centerview, Missouri, passed away on March 15, 2016 after a long, courageous battle with cancer, at home surrounded by his family.

William J. Eckett was born on Feb. 5, 1960 in Auburn, N.Y., son of James “Bill”Eckett and Margaret “Maggie” Deliz Eckett. He was a graduate of Auburn High School and Cayuga Community College where he received an associate's degree in criminal justice.

Bill began his career in dog training in 1980 under Jim Swan in Sanger, Texas. In 1983, he trained dogs with D.L. Walters at Walter Kennels in LaCygne, Kansas. He met and married Rebecca Van De Mark on June 14, 1985 in Leawood, Kansas.

Bill and Becky moved to Centerview, Missouri in 1987, where they owned and operated Blackwater Retrievers with a focus on field trail training and competition. Bill was one of the youngest handlers to win the National Retriever Championship. During his career, he titled well over 100 dogs and made multiple national championships with numerous finalists. On Feb. 7, 2015, he was inducted to the Field Trail Hall of Fame in Grand Junction, Tennessee. He loved hunting turkeys and ducks with family and friends, and put on many memorable cook-outs.

Survivors include his wife, Becky; son, Jim Eckett, of Kansas City, daughter Kelli Eckett, of Centerview; parents, Bill and Maggie Eckett, of Throop, N.Y.; two sisters: Ann Marie Eckett Barnes, of Arizona and Margaret “Peg” Eckett Weston and her husband, Robert Weston, of Arizona; two uncles, Ronald Eckett and Robert Deliz, of Auburn, N.Y.; one aunt, Dolores Elice, of Florida and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by paternal grandparents James and Agnes Eckett; maternal grandmother Eleanor Morse; Uncle Jim and Aunt Marcia Eckett Smith; Aunt Susan Eckett and brother- in-law Jim Barnes.

Services were held on March 17, 2016 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warrensburg, MO. Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to: ASPCA, York St., Auburn, NY or Bird Dog Foundation, P.O.Box 774, Grand Junction, Tennessee 38039.

We will be having a Celebration of Life for Bill in Auburn. The date has not been determined, however, as soon as we get one, the date will be in The Citizen and posted on Facebook.