BEVERLY - Edwin "Ed" Eckl, age 83, of Beverly, died peacefully at home January 9, 2018, following declining health.
A native of St. Mary's, Pa., Ed began living with his Aunt Gladys and Uncle Reuben at the age of 14 and was formally adopted at age 16, becoming their only child. Ed was a graduate of Penn State University.
Ed served in the United States Army and later had a successful career as a chemist, working for several companies in upstate New York and suburban Boston, retiring in 1996.
Ed developed a lifelong love for magic as a child. Considering himself too small to play sports, he joked that his parents endured many shows on a homemade stage. From 1983 through 2006, Ed collaborated with William "Bill" Miesel to publish 100 issues of The Precursor magazine, each issue containing contributions from some of the most creative minds in magic. Earlier in 1980 he partnered with Miesel on the Creative Card Magic of William P. Miesel released by Ed's Unikorn Magik in 1980.
Though Ed attended many magic gatherings, his favorite, by far was the 4F Close-up Convention where he was a regular invitee, attending 45 of 47 annual events. Ed combined magic, humor, sight gags and clever wordplay in his performances and insisted that all of his appearances were solely due to the talents of Myra, his card-finding duck. He was a member of IBM #122335 since 1950, Order of Merlin Excelsior for 60 years, Ring 79 of Binghamton, N.Y., a former Associate Member of the Magic Circle and member of the Society of American Magicians. While living in Beverly, Ed amassed a sizable collection of Magic and performing arts memorabilia, housed in what he affectionately dubbed "Clutter Cottage."
Ed is survived by his long-time close friends, Rich and Diane Nunziato of Ipswich, Sharon Flynn of Beverly, Robert Lake of Danvers, Kim Cromidas of Danvers, and many friends from the Le Grand David Magic Company of Beverly with whom he visited regularly and who remember Ed as a true gentleman of magic -- thoughtful, kind, and generous.
His Celebration of Life will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly, on Saturday, January 20, 2018, from 3 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Edwin's name may made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on January 16, 2018