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01/20/2018 - Christopher Eicher

Funeral services for Christopher Bartholomew Nathaniel Eicher, age 57, formerly of Crawford, NE will be at 1:30 PM on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the South Canyon Lutheran Church in Rapid City, SD.
 
A reception / wake will immediately follow.
 
Burial will be a later date. 
 
A memorial has been established to Donor’s Choice, and may be sent to Ben Eicher, 1008 Howard Street, Lot 135, Rapid City, SD57701.
 
Christopher, a 1978 graduate of Crawford High School, passed away peacefully at Rapid City Regional Hospital at 10:17 PM on Epiphany Sunday, January 7, 2018.
 
For years, but especially the past two months (which included a mid-December hospitalization for pneumonia), Chris had been battling the suffocating effects of severe COPD. At home the morning of Friday, January 5, Chris suffered a sudden fatal episode of heart failure and respiratory arrest, resulting in immediate “death.” Despite quick and valiant efforts from emergency responders, they were unable to get Chris breathing or his heart started. After approximately a half-hour, the emergency room physicians were able to get his heart beating, and he was put on a ventilator. However, he never regained consciousness and was in a deep coma with massive brain damage. On Sunday night, he was removed from life support and slipped away quietly several minutes later.
 
Chris was born on June 24, 1960 at St. Louis, MO. Six days later, the Eicher family moved to West Milford, NJ, where Chris lived until the end of April 1972. A move to Wauseon, OH followed, the residential tenure of which lasted until June 1975, when a move to Crawford occurred. Chris entered Crawford High as a sophomore. In October 1977 he was awarded the Wellington Trophy, and in April 1978 he was voted Senior Prom King. In May 1980, the family moved to Chadron. In May 1983, Chris graduated from Chadron State College with a B.A. in history and psychology. Through May 1984 he served as the Social Science graduate assistant. After that, he worked at several retail jobs in Alliance and Rapid City, but first and foremost Chris was a musician—a guitar player. Over the years he was a member of a number of area rock bands: Joker, Crossfire, Major Rager, 8 Ball (with the son of Eagles star, Randy Meisner), Squeeze Play, Hat Creek Band, and most recently, Force of Habit. Chris was widely hailed as THE top blues-rock lead guitar player. Self-taught, he could make pure magic happen with his Fender Stratocaster.
 
He is survived by grieving siblings Ben (Rapid City) and Katrina (Elizabethtown, KY), and heartbroken sons Ethan and Elliott (Rapid City), as well as his sorrowing niece, Brenna (Bowling Green, KY).
 
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, (the Rev.) Robert Eicher and Janice Eicher.

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