It all started with a dream, by a little boy named Russell H. Eckard, also known as Russ, who was born on a large farm in Wayne County, near Dalton, OH on January 14, 1900. Russ developed his exceptional work ethic at an early age by working with is father on their Wayne County farm. While working on the farm, Russ developed numerous hobbies stemming from the work he performed everyday after school. His favorite hobby was the growing of shrubs and flowers. After graduating from Dalton high school, Russ entered Wooster College but during his time at college The United States was at war with Germany so Russ did the right thing by enlisting in the service despite only being seventeen years old. After serving his country proudly, Russ decided to enroll back in college at The Ohio State University where he studied embalming. Upon completing his studies at the university, Russ started his career at the C.F. Jackson Company in Springfield, which later became the A.E. Brown Company of Cleveland, two of the leading undertaking firms in Ohio. With experience under his belt, Russ and his brother Merle decided to start their own undertaking business at their house on Arlington St. on October 1, 1929.
Russ and Merle “Morris” ran the business as Eckard Funeral Home until the early 1960’s, when Pat Baldwin became a partner in the business and the name was changed to Eckard Baldwin. Russ and Pat’s sons, Dave Eckard and Larry Baldwin, continued the tradition of excellence as 2nd generation owners until 1983, when Dave became sole owner.
Upon Dave’s passing due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 60 in 2001, Eckard Baldwin moved on to the 3rd generation, Dave’s son Russ. Named after his grandfather, Russell J. Eckard is president of the company and proudly carries on the family tradition today.