Gary Eichler, 74, of Lewis Center, Ohio

Published 9:18 am Friday, January 25, 2013

Gary Dean Eichler, 74, of Lewis Center, Ohio, passed away suddenly Tuesday Jan. 22, 2013, at Westerville Emergency Care.

Gary Eichler

Gary was born on Feb. 2, 1938, in Frost to the late Karl Hermann Eichler and Evelyne Sarah Dell (Yost) Smallwood. He was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith. He attended schools in Waverly, Iowa. Gary married Lorna “Lori” Cornelius in 1959. They had two sons. He then married Stephanie “Steph” Caughey on May 1, 1971. He adopted her son and they had a daughter.

Gary spent the majority of his life on the west coast specifically in the San Jose, Calif., area prior to moving to Lewis Center 11 years ago. He was a man of many talents. He owned and operated Dri-Kleen Carpets and was a member of the Rotary and Moose clubs. Known of his charitable ways, he was quite the entertainer. He was known for his performance as a stand-up master of ceremonies, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny not only for private families, but for hospitals and numerous other charities. A true comedian, he once held the Guinness World Book of Records record for nonstop joke telling, at more than 32 straight hours. He was also the opening act for Al Martino and Frankie Lane. Gary enjoyed a passion for fishing, golfing, and the Minnesota Vikings. His family remained number one in his heart, especially his treasured grandchildren. Simply put, he was described as the “most awesomest” and would want to be remembered for leaving a little laughter.

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Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 41 years, Stephanie “Steph” (Caughey) Eichler, their daughter Deana (Tom) Mason of Delaware, Ohio; sons, Jeffrey “Jeff” (Colleen) Eichler of Woodland, Calif., Gerald “Jerry” Eichler of Birmingham, Ala. and Chris (Melissa) Eichler of Powell, Ohio; grandchildren, Taylor and Ryan Mason, Parker Eichler, Christian “C.J.” and Jacob “Jake” Eichler; sisters, Valerie (Tom) Lair of Overland Park, Kan., and Sharine (Bob) Drake of Sparks, Nev.; and many special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Gordon Eichler, and his sister, LaMone (Eichler) Williams.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center in Delaware, Ohio, where friends may call one hour prior to the services. The Rev. Frank Carl will officiate.

Memorial contributions can be made at and condolences may be expressed at

Though Gary left us all too soon and unexpectedly, we’re comforted knowing that he is living eternal life with his Lord and Savior in our Heavenly home.