Claire (Ike) John Eike
Claire (Ike) John Eike, Jr, 91, of Nixa, Missouri, passed away on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, at The Township Memory Care unit. Sadly his family was unable to be with him due to Covid visitation restrictions.
Ike was born in Ringsted, Iowa, on Sept. 27, 1928, to Clair Jon and Alice (Bortvit) Eike, the second of six children, and grew up in Estherville, Iowa. He married Margaret Jane Price of Lafayette, Indiana on April 20, 1949 in Rapid City, South Dakota.
In the summer of 1944, at the age of 15, Ike attempted to join the US Marine Corps but was discovered by his father and returned home. On Nov. 16, 1946, he entered military service in the US Army Air Corps and trained as a high speed radio operator. He was called to serve in the Korean Conflict in 1950, serving with the X Corps after arriving in Wonson, North Korea. In the winter of 1950, he found himself with the X Corps soldiers and Marines stranded at the Chosin Reservoir surrounded by Chinese Communist Forces. During the next two weeks the US Forces fought for survival and escaped their entrapment. In 1951 Ike returned to Ft Ord, California and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps and began his long career in Hospital Administration after attaining the rank of Sergeant Major while enlisted. Some of his many decorations and awards include 2 Navy Presidential Unit Citations, Bronze Star Medal, 3 Army Commendation Medals, Combat Medical Badge, Army Good Conduct Medal with Knot, National Defense Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and many more. After having completed more than 24 years of active service with more than nine years of overseas service Lt Colonel Eike retired as the Commanding Officer of the 135th Evacuation Hospital, Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri on December 16, 1970.
Ike was an avid bowler and was proud of the 300 game he bowled earning a diamond ring and accolades from his fellow league members. He also became involved in farming and raised Black Angus cattle on his farm near Waynesville, Missouri. Col Eike was a talented crafter of stained glass hangings and windows and taught the craft to others in his studios in Waynesville and at his home on Table Rock Lake. Col Eike was active in many retired military organizations while he lived near Branson, Missouri and later after moving to Nixa, Missouri.
Colonel Eike is survived by his wife of 71 years, Margaret, four daughters, Kristen Peat (David), Deborah Rosen (Barry), Jo Smith, Susan Eike, three sons, Jon Eike, William Eike (Diana), and Eric Eike (Nancy), 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ike was a loving father, grandfather and husband and a friend to many.
Visitation will be from 1:00 until 2:00 PM at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home in Springfield, Missouri on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Please wear a mask for the safety of all those in attendance. A private memorial service will be held the following Wednesday for family members at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield. Attendance will be limited to 10 people due to Covid 19 protocol. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations in LTC Claire J Eike’s name to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) at secure.dav.org.
A special thank you to the Access Hospice team and members of the Township Staff who took care of our father during his final days. Also, the family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude towards Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home for being very accommodating and understanding during this difficult time.