John Coleman Eckles, 83, of Monroe, passed away Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, after a brief illness. Born in Madison in 1938, he spent his early childhood in Meridian, Mississippi, and moved to Monroe in 1949 where he spent the majority of his life. Upon graduating from Monroe Area High School, John attended Georgia Military College for two years, transferred to the University of Georgia and graduated with a degree in business administration. While at the university, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He subsequently served a number of years in the Army National Guard.
In 1960, John married his high school sweetheart, Connie Pollock. He went to work for Genuine Parts Co. spending several years working in Atlanta and New Orleans. He and Connie enjoyed their time in New Orleans and have the fondest memories, but ultimately it was the love of family that brought them back home to Monroe to raise their children. John remained under the Genuine Parts umbrella, taking over his father's auto parts business with his brother, Mike. He always had the best stories to tell from his days at “the store” and appreciated the relationships he had with each and every customer.
John spent numerous years as a member of the Monroe Rotary Club, serving as president 1974-75. He also served on the board of directors of the National Bank of Walton County, later Athens First Bank and Trust Co., and was chairman of the board in 2007. But it was his deep love for his church, First Baptist Church of Monroe, where he gave of himself. Whether it was teaching Sunday school, serving on various committees or being a member of and chairing the board of deacons, John’s devotion to his church, his beloved men’s Sunday school class, and the Lord was abundantly clear. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him, but his generosity, warmth, and humble spirit will live on through the many people he touched.
John adored his family and treasured every moment with them. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Helen Eckles.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Connie Pollock Eckles; children, Susan Eckles Rozier (Dave), Daniel Coleman Eckles, and Ellen Eckles Scott (Alan); brother, Michael Douglas Eckles (Sallie); grandchildren, Cole Eckles (Lucia), Helen Catherine Faircloth (William), Marshall Scott, Caroline Rozier, Coleman Rozier, Collier Scott, Chambers Eckles, Sam Eckles, and William Scott; great-grandchildren, Lennon Eckles and Annie Faircloth and several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Monroe, where a private service was held for the family.