In Memoriam: James Robert Eichorn
February 28, 1995 – December 22, 2022
James Robert Eichorn, of Davidson, N.C. died on December 22, 2022 at home. James was the only child of Jonna and Rich Eichorn. He was born in Charlotte, N.C. on February 28, 1995. James Robert was named after his two grandfathers: James E. Rozzelle and Robert L. Eichorn. He was a beautiful blend of both men.
James Robert was such a happy baby who rarely cried and was always smiling. He was a pure joy and blessing to his parents. After five years in Huntersville, James Rob and his parents moved to Davidson to be closer to his grandmother “Mimi,” Judy (Julia) Rozzelle. Growing up in Davidson, he attended Davidson Elementary and Davidson IB Middle School. There were countless afternoons of playing on the Town Green, eating at the Soda Shop, and bike riding on the campus of Davidson College with his friends.
James Robert played for Davidson Youth Baseball for ten years. He was a member of the first DC Force team holding down first base and throwing his famous left-handed pitches. His love of the game and for his fellow players and coaches was contagious. Those days at McEver Fields were the best.
After one year at North Mecklenburg High School, James graduated in 2013 from W.A. Hough High School. While at Hough, he was a member of the JV and Varsity football teams playing on the offensive line and also the lacrosse team as a goalie. He loved being a part of those inaugural teams. He was a member of the DECA Club.
James Robert attended Appalachian State University and then Mitchell Community College where he received his Associate Degree. He then continued his studies at East Carolina University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in University Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Sociology. James is the eighth Pirate in our family.
James was a natural athlete but he was also a musician whose talent was discovered at a very young age. He took piano lessons for six years and then picked up the guitar and never looked back. His perfect pitch and ability to pick out a tune was a thrill to watch and listen to. In middle school he also played a mean trombone. Playing alongside his mom on the piano or with his guitar were the best of times. Music was always a part of his life and brought joy to so many people. Especially his momma.
James Robert’s struggles with his mental health began when he was in high school. Those struggles led to self-medicating and drug addiction. He received inpatient and outpatient treatment at multiple centers and hospitals and after a diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder he finally had some context and understanding for his disease. James Rob’s road to stronger mental health and recovery was hard, exhausting, scary, and frustrating. This year while at Jacob’s Ladder at Brookside Farm in WV, he finally was able to escape the hurricane that was his life and found his peace. James accepted that he would be living with Bipolar II for the rest of his life. The connections and friendships he made at the Ladder were life changing and he was finally happy and learning how to live his life while continuing his recovery. He had future goals of getting his Masters in Social Work and then working in the mental health field helping others like he had been helped. But the disease of addiction had other plans.
James Rob leaves behind his parents, Jonna Rozzelle Eichorn and Richard H. Eichorn. They were his biggest supporters and his best friends. Every child needs a “Mimi” and James had the best in Judy (Julia) Rozzelle. Their bond was like no other. He was loved and cherished by his aunt and uncle, Ann Shepherd and James E. Rozzelle, and cousin, Josie Rozzelle. Being the youngest of 18 Eichorn grandchildren, he was blessed to have many aunts and uncles: Kathleen Williams; Lawrence and Mary Pat Eichorn; Pat and Andy Harasim; Jane and Jack Harrison; and Kay Eichorn. He was loved by his cousins: Frank Williams (Melissa); Regina Roderick (Kip); Emma Cole (Tom); Rich Williams (Andrea): Tricia Mason (Dave); Megs Thaman (Kyle); Stephen Harasim (Katie); Mary Anne DeHart (David); Katie Johnson (Clay); Jean Huff (Michael); Megan Smith (Austin); Jackie Bettis (Barry); Colleen Walker (Jacob); Joseph Eichorn (Chelsea); Betsy Falls (Matt); Robby Eichorn; and Ben Eichorn. He is also survived by the 21 children of his cousins. James Robert was cherished by his great aunts and uncles: Ron Rozzelle and Rosa Patton; Davy and Sandra Crockett. And also, many second cousins who he adored and looked up to. Tim, Shaun, Grace, and Lucas Jayne were a second family for James Rob and will miss him very much.
James Robert was preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert and Elizabeth Eichorn and James Rozzelle, and also by his uncles, Richard Williams, John Eichorn, and Robert Eichorn. The family has gained another angel in heaven to watch over them.
A celebration of James Robert’s life will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2:00 p.m. at Davidson United Methodist Church, 233 S. Main St., Davidson, NC with a reception to follow at Oak Street Mill Events, 19725 Oak St., Unit #3, Cornelius, N.C. The service will be live-streamed at www.davidsonumc.org/worship/livestream/. A block of hotel rooms is available at the Homewood Suites in Davidson. The link to book is: www.hilton.com/en/attend-my-event/jamesrobertmemorialservice/.
Memorials can be made to: FeedNC in Mooresville at www.feednc.org/atthistable; East Carolina University’s Center for Counseling and Student Development at ECU’s Center for Counseling and Student Development or https://tinyurl.com/ycxwxx79 ; and Jacob’s Ladder Assistance Fund at https://jl-af.networkforgood.com/projects/63861-give-the-gift-of-recovery.
The family would also like to give thanks to James Robert’s many church families: Davidson United Methodist Church, Cornelius Presbyterian Church, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, and The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Mt. Holly. He had a strong faith foundation on which he leaned on throughout his lifetime. James never doubted what his higher power was. And the family is forever grateful to the Town of Davidson Police and Fire Departments who cared for James Rob and always treated him with kindness, respect, and care. They took the time to understand his diseases and find him the help he needed at that moment.
If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) for help at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or www.SAMHSA.gov.
“Only when we are brave enough to explore our darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light” — Brené Brown
James Funeral Home, of Huntersville, is serving the family.