Cover photo for Neil James Eckhart's Obituary
Neil James Eckhart Profile Photo
1968 Neil 2021

Neil James Eckhart

September 10, 1968 — October 29, 2021

Neil J. Eckhart, age 53, of Rochester, MN passed away on Friday, October 29, 2021 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN. Neil James Eckhart was born September 10, 1968 in Austin, MN the son of Bonnie (Buck) and Leon Eckhart. He was baptized on September 10, 1968 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield, MN and confirmed on June 5, 1983 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Rochester, MN. He was a 1986 graduate of John Marshall High School in Rochester, MN. Neil was married to Debra Spitzer for 24 years and in their union had a son, Mitchell. They later divorced. He married Christine (Grams) Gilk on July 11, 2020. Neil worked for over 26 years as a delivery driver for Sysco. He had a passion for racing including a 30 year career as a stock car race driver. He enjoyed hosting family and friends, his dog Finnegan, cheering on the MN Vikings, Sunday Fundays, traveling, and hunting along with being the self appointed mayor of Marion Township. He is survived by his wife, Christine Eckhart of Rochester, MN; son, Mitchell Eckhart of Rochester, MN; stepchildren, Drew and Isabella Gilk of Rochester, MN; father, Leon Eckhart of Rochester, MN; sister, Patricia Eckhart of Rochester, MN; niece, Morgan Bushman (Angel Ramirez); great nephew, Oscar Ramirez; mother and father-in-law, Don and Judy Grams of Stewartville, MN; special friend and mentor Harland Morehart along with his extended family, racing family and friends. He is preceded in death by his mother, Bonnie Eckhart and Diane and Darrell Spitzer. A visitation will be held 4:00 to 7:00 pm Friday, November 5, 2021 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN and one hour prior to the service. A memorial service will be held 10:30 AM Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Eckhart family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com Click here to watch the livestream of Neil's service; the video will go live and become available a few minutes before the service begins: https://www.facebook.com/Ranfranzandvine/ Direct link to video: https://www.facebook.com/Ranfranzandvine/videos/1837214403153796/?__so__=channel_tab&__rv__=all_videos_card
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 5, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, November 6, 2021

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Service

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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