Distinguished Alumnus: Dean Eckersley was war hero, statesman and family man

eckersley
Dean Eckersley, Lapeer High School class of 1936

Dean Eckersley, a B-24 Bomber pilot during World War II, was a veteran of the United States Army Air Corps. He married Betty Brown in Lapeer on July 11, 1942.

In December 1944, he and his crew were shot down over Germany and captured by the enemy – two were killed. He was a Prisoner of War for six months before the war ended. He earned the European Theater Ribbon and the P.O.W. Medal  in 1945.

When he came back to the states, he attended Cleary College before moving his family to Mt. Pleasant for a job as an accountant. Years later, he started a successful oil leasing business. He was involved in local politics as well, serving as two-term mayor of Mt. Pleasant. He was also voted Citizen of the Year in 1969 after many years of service to the Jaycees, the Lions Club, the City Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mid-Michigan Community College Foundation.

Eckersley passed away in October 2011 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. His funeral was a true testament to the love so many had for him.

Diane Bond, daughter: “Dad was a devoted father and grandfather. He taught the importance of family, church and serving the community. He was a true gentleman, respected by his family, friends and community.”

Our four 2013 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor inductees will be honored on October 27, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Administration & Services Center, 250 Second St., Lapeer.

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