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Tribute to Eckard Schmechel

Mr. Eckard Schmechel passed away on April 19, 2011, from kidney cell
carcinoma. Eckard was born in Pinnow, Kreis Regenwalde, Pommern, on
January 4, 1936. He was the main contact person for those seeking
information about the former German Kreis Regenwalde. He was very
active in the Heimatkreis Regenwalde organization and was its
chairman from 2007 until his death. He loved his home county, Kreis
Regenwalde, and his former home village of Pinnow. He co-authored
several books about the churches and pastors of Kreis Regenwalde as
well as a book about Pinnow. Thanks to his generosity, the Pommern
Regional Group [PRG] was able to publish an English edition of the
book on Kreis Regenwalde with all the information on the churches in
the Kreis. He was a kind, compassionate, caring, and thoughtful man
who treated everyone like a dear friend.

Joyce and Dick Gardner met Eckard and his wife Irmgard in 2005 and
developed a close friendship with them. He invited Joyce and Dick
to attend the Heimatkreis Regenwalde biennial reunion in 2009 in
Melle, Germany, the godparent city of Kreis Regenwalde. During that
reunion, Eckard & Imgard's son Thomas was their translator and
guide. Joanne Becker met Eckard and Imgard on one of her trips when
she brought back copies of his books for members of PRG in her suitcase.

Paul Sternberg as well as Jan and Jerry Savage had the privilege of
working with Eckard on the English-language Kreis Regenwalde book.
They met him, Irmgard, and co-author Siegfried Hannemann in 2009 for
the presentation of that book in the now Polish city of Resko.

Eckard Schmechel was a true friend to our PRG organization and he
will be greatly missed by everyone with Kreis Regenwalde ancestors
and the members of the Heimatkreis Regenwalde organization. He was
a very special man and we are honored to have met and known him.

Eckard Schmechel was the president of the Regenwalde group in Germany.
He was a tireless promoter of Kreis Regenwalde, its history and its citizens.
He passed away on April 19th, 2011. He is wearing the golden tie and holding
a flag of Kreis Regenwalde.

Wife Irmgard, son Thomas, and Eckard.

With co-author Mr. Hannemann eating puddding with strawberries at
the Polish border. Mr. Schmechel co-authored four books with Siegfried Hannemann:
1 & 2. Kirchen im Kreis Regenwalde, Volume I und II;
3.Die evangelishchen Geistlichen im Kreis Regenwalde von der Reformation bis 1945;
4. Der Kreis Regenwalde in Pommern, Spuren der Erinnerung.
Mr. Schmechel also authored: Pinnow, im Kreis Regenwalde in Pommern in Wort und Bild.

At the cemetery gates of Pinnow, Regenwalde. His grandparents are buried there.

This was his home in Pinnow. It was and still is a small grocery store. He is saying, "All this was mine!"

We visited a 1000 year old oak tree by Labes.

Visiting the church in Dübzow, Regenwalde

Examining the middle-age altar

The beautiful altar piece

Posing outside the church with a resident of Dübzow.

Dinner in Regenwalde with Jerry Savage of the Pommern Group of Minnesota.

Giving a speech to students in Regenwalde, Poland about his expulsion experience.

His speech was covered in the Polish newspaper.

Leaving Regenwalde after the conference with Paul Sternberg of the
Pommern Regional Group of Minnesota. There was no one to take out
photo so we held the camera out at arms length and took a photo of ourselves.

Irmgard & Eckard Schmechel, Joyce & Dick Gardner and Thomas
Schmechel at the Heimatkreis Regenwalde in Melle, Germany in May 2009.

We miss you already! The Pommern Regional Group of Minnesota.