OBITUARY

John Carl Eichenauer III

October 20, 1921March 17, 2021

John (“Johnny”) Carl Eichenauer III, age 99, passed away peacefully on March 17, 2021 at his residence in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by family. He was born on October 20, 1921 to the late John Carl II and Clarice Cassandra (Housman) Eichenauer in Yuma, Arizona. John knew how to play the piano as did his beloved mother and siblings: Marshall, Joan, Jean, and Kenny. He attended Phoenix Union High School, where he learned woodworking and Spanish. At Arizona State University, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business. John perfected his Spanish language education at Garcia Flamenco school, San Salvador, El Salvador, while on his way to his outstanding life of teaching, growing and uniting Baha'i communities across the world.

At the age of 17 John chose to uproot himself from his life in Phoenix and travel to a new country as a pioneer for the Baha'i Faith. Because of his young age, it took two years for him to get permission from his Local Spiritual Assembly and Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith, to do this, so at age 19 he set off for El Salvador in Central America. Thus began a lifetime of sacrificial service and devotion to furthering the Faith's vision of peace and unity among all people, all religions, and all countries. In the next several years, John lived, worked, and taught the Faith in El Salvador, Mexico City, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. John's extraordinary life of sustained effort to promote his Faith and its principles is rare and inspiring. John, while on pilgrimage in 1955, was in the presence of Shoghi Effendi who John described as "a world spiritual commander".

In 1942 John returned to the U.S., and was ordered into the armed forces and by 1943 was assigned medical detail. John's division set up base near Stuttgart, Germany. John let Shoghi Effendi know that he had contacted the Bahai's in Germany. During this time John met and married Gisela Walker and had one son, Eric Quoddus, but later, the couple went their separate ways.

John worked for Eichenauer Nutrition Center, a pioneering health food company, started by his parents in 1938. After a few years, John went on to open his own store, Eichenauer Juice Bar and Nutrition Builders. John served his customers fresh fruit and vegetable juices, handmade soups and sandwiches, along with vitamins and health products. During this time, John met and married Theodora “Teddy” Miller and had three children: son Vahid Thane Lee, and daughters Shawn Layli Aurora and Lisa Marinda. John and Teddy's marriage ended in 1975, yet they remained lifelong friends. John's dedication to nutrition and an active lifestyle kept him healthy for more than 99 years!

In 1989 John was invited by the National Spiritual Assembly of El Salvador to attend the 50th anniversary of his arrival. Later in 1992 while traveling with Lawrence Patton to Belize and Mexico City, he met his future wife Teresa McGregor from Merida, Yucatan. They married in 1992. Teresa was an Auxiliary Board member in Mexico and devout Baha'i. Sometime after their trip to the 100th anniversary of the Baha'i Congress in New York, Teresa tragically succumbed to cancer in 1993.

John's next international invitation came in 2005 when Bahai's were celebrating 100 years of the Baha'i faith being established in Germany and Austria. John was interviewed before 2000 people at Messen Hall in Stuttgart, Germany.

At the request of the Local Spiritual Assembly, John spent 17 years as a volunteer chaplain at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, leading Baha'i prayer service and helping countless travelers.

Other cool skills John enjoyed: ballroom dancing, horseback riding, playing the accordion, telling jokes, asking questions and listening, airplane pilot, bicycle riding. He hand made several pieces of wood furniture. He spoke Spanish fluently and had a intense interest in world events and politics. John was always friendly and outgoing.

In his final days, John's would often speak Spanish with his care givers who described him as a gentleman, curious, polite and kind. A joy to be around! We agree. His welcoming smile and friendly greetings will be greatly missed.

John is survived by his loving sisters Joan and Jean, his beloved niece Cherie and his children and grandchildren. _____________________________

Donations in John's name may be made to: Salvation Army: www.give.salvationarmyusa.org

Baha'is can make a donation in John's memory to the National Spiritual Assembly

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Zoom Memorial service hosted by daughter and Baha'i Faith of Phoenix

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 5:00 pm Mountain Standard Time (MST)

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Meeting ID: 940 6308 0790

Passcode: 255061

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Meeting ID: 940 6308 0790

Passcode: 255061

  • DONATIONS

  • The Salvation Army
  • Baha'is can make a donation in John's memory to the National Spiritual Assembly

Services

  • Zoom Memorial service hosted by daughter and Baha'i Faith of Phoenix

    Sunday, April 11, 2021

Memories

John Carl Eichenauer III

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Kelly Eichenauer

April 10, 2021

Hey hey hey........wanted to say: Uncle Johnny was always available to ask questions and ponder the business of the day.
He and Aunt Joan worked countless hours with us at the Health Food Store. I knew each and every time he spoke there would be a lively conversation.
He could offer insight on a wealth of topics and he never missed an opportunity to make us think. See more than one side to every story and get you to give him your opinion; especially when it wasn’t even close to his. His perspective on how to make a delicious drink at the Juice Bar was always deep and highly informational. Often I would try to answer his questions with a question of my own. Just to set off a debate. Guess he and I were both similar that way. I wish I had been in Phoenix more over the last few years to visit with family, but COVID 19 took care of that. I’m definitely grateful for the memories and proud to be in a family with such a colorful past and long life history. Our Grandma Eichenauer (Johnny’s Mom) made it to 106 years of age.
We are in it for the long haul.
Rest In Peace Uncle Johnny. You truly were a special one of a kind.
There’s no one quite like ya!!!!!
Joyfully Remembering Family.
Love, Kelly Eichenauer