Mr. F. Joseph Eschleman
(June 18, 1929 – October 19, 2013)
Joseph Eschleman, “Joe,” was born on June 28, 1929 in Columbus, Ohio, the third child of F. Joseph and Margaret Grady Eschleman. Joe and his older siblings, William and Nanci, were raised in Columbus where they attended parochial schools.
At age 17, Joe enlisted in the army and was a veteran of WWII. After being honorably discharged from active duty, Joe enlisted in the Ohio National Guard 66th Infantry Regiment Combat Team where he served as Staff Sergeant of the motor pool at Fort Hayes, Columbus. In addition, he attended The Ohio State University.
One of Joe’s greatest joys was assisting with all aspects of the state Catholic basketball tournament, which became the SJI. Long after the Eschleman boys graduated from St. Joseph Central, Joe continued with the SJI in many different roles. This was his passion.
Joe was an active member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. His hobbies included traveling with his beloved wife, golf (playing and watching on TV), gardening, reading and spending time with his family. He was an avid historian and was very passionate about American history. Like Winston Churchill, Joe believed, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
He served a variety of organizations in Huntington including President of the St. Joseph Central PTA (1971-72), Board of Directors for the Huntington Area Chamber of Commerce, River Cities United Way, Director of the National Alliance of Businessmen (1972-73), President of the Huntington Advertising Club (1970-71), Huntington City Council (1977), General Chairman of the sustaining membership enrollment drive for Boy Scouts of America; Chairman/Executive Committee Member of the SJI (1978-90), and chairman of the Veteran’s Memorial Field House Authority (1986-88).
At the age of 21, Joe met the love of his life, Jane Snyder and they were married in November 1952. They had six children – Thomas, Joseph (Pamela), Nanci Marshall, Stephen (deceased), Michael and Mary Beaty (Michael). In addition, they have 11 grandchildren – Joe Randolph, Victoria Ahrens, Michelle Fell, Mike Dragovich, Christina Johnson, Christian Eschleman, Jennifer Dado, Ian, Philip, Benjamin and Isaiah Beaty and 6 great-grandchildren – Brooklyn Thornhill-Johnson, Bella and Jack Dragovich, Alex Randolph, Lucy Ahrens and Kennedy Fell.