Howard F. Eckard, 84, of Monroe, died at his home Sept. 9, 2017, after a long decline in health. He was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, May 18, 1933, to the late Arthur and Ethel Seipler Eckard.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Vera Jeanne Eckard, and his favorite dog, Rufus.
Howard is survived by his daughter, Beth Eckard Concepción; son-in-law, Eddie Concepción; and grandsons, Dominic and Gideon, all of Atlanta, Georgia. He also is survived by his loving partner and caregiver, Katherine Pickett, of Covington, whom he found late in life and loved fiercely.
For much of his early life, Howard was passionate about music and model airplanes. He played the guitar, but switched to the banjo and dobro when he moved from New Jersey to Georgia in the 1970s. He was a fixture on the bluegrass circuit, notably with Center Stage Bluegrass Band, and was inducted into the Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame.
The family will host a memorial service Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the chapel at Meadows Funeral Home, 760 Highway 11, Monroe, with the Rev. Jim Harshman officiating.
Meadows Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Please sign the guestbook online at meadowsfuneralhomeinc.com.