Longtime Tucson, Arizona resident, Hank passed away in Brown County, Indiana from complications of Alzheimer's disease and lymphatic cancer. Hank will be remembered for his generosity; love of animals, fishing, the UA Wildcats, and music; a dry sense of humor; fondness for Budweiser and PB& J sandwiches; and unwavering stubbornness. He was predeceased by his parents Fred and Fleta, daughter Jennifer, wife Mary Lu, sisters Lucille Gray (Russ), LaVonna Morrison (Frank), Nancy Clinkinbeard (Bill), brothers Joe Eyrich, Robert Eyrich and beloved dogs Linus, Satchel, and Abby. He is survived by daughter Heidi Lee Duncan (Devin) of Morgantown, IN; sister-in-law Bonnie Eyrich, numerous nieces and nephews and former wife/forever friend Jaime Gaskin of Santa Fe, NM.
Born in Potlatch, Idaho to Fred and Fleta (Craven) Eyrich, Hank was the baby of five children. In spite of being a self-proclaimed sickly child, and told by a teacher he had a "putrid attitude" he graduated from Potlatch High School with honors and went on to earn a BS degree at the University of Idaho. He took a break and joined the US Navy, where he enjoyed a two-year stint as a Chaplain's Assistant in the Philippines. He never saw combat, unless you count the many hours at a typewriter or as a watchman precariously perched in a coconut tree with his pet monkey.
After his military service, he enrolled at Washington State University where he earned his PhD in Geology. While at Wazzu, Hank met his first wife, Mary Lucille (Lu) Livesay and they had two beautiful daughters, Jennifer Lucille and Heidi Lee. It was always an adventure with Hank, and the young family lived in many wooded and rocky environs while he penned his dissertation research. Dr. Eyrich went on to work in hard rock exploration/mining geology in Washington, Arizona, and Minnesota. He did a stint as the President of the Northwest Mining Association.
Shortly before moving to Minnesota, the family lost their daughter and sister Jenny (age 15) in a senseless and tragic accident in Spokane, WA. After 2 years in Minnesota, they moved back to Tucson in 1978. Hank went to work as an exploration geologist and Vice President of Continental Materials Corporation and eventually moved into environmental issues at Pima Association of Governments (PAG) in Tucson. Hank served as officer in the Arizona Geological Society, and published several scientific articles in economic geology quarterlies.
He met his second wife at a bar (seriously, he loved that story). Hank and Lu were great fans of Travis Edmonson and Travis sang everywhere in Tucson. Jaime, in addition to co-owning the restaurant/bar, also sang professionally, often with Travis and other Tucson musicians. The families became great friends; they traveled and partied together with many friends and musicians. After supporting each other through the illnesses and deaths of their spouses within 7 months, Hank and Jaime married in 1989. They shared a love of dogs, gardening, fishing trips, and music.
Hank retired from PAG in 2002 after a distinguished career in water and environmental management. A year later he decided to take a stab at college teaching again as a geology professor at Pima Community College. He retired from teaching in 2006.
Prior to moving to Morgantown, IN with his daughter Heidi and son-in-law Devin Duncan in 2014, Hank was active in St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church for many years, faithfully taking his Katie Kan donations for the homeless every month. Many thanks to the loving support of friends, doctors, nurses, home care and comfort care providers in Tucson and Morgantown on the long, winding road of Hank's life and illness. Hank did not want any services, but please remember him by making donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation, a Humane Society in your area (adopt a homeless pet or donate money or food), or to the Katie Kans project at St. Francis in the Foothills UMC, Tucson.
Time it was and what a time it was, it wasa time of innocence, a time of confidences. Long ago it must be, I have a photograph; preserve your memories, they're all that's left you. (Simon and Garfunkel "Bookends", 1968).