An obituary for Rev. Richard Eirich appeared in The Lutheran Witness, Vol. XLVIII (1929), p. 284. A few words toward the end were obliterated, which I have marked by the sign (xxx). An undated draft copy of this same obituary in his own hand shows that Rev. Eirich anticipated his own passing.
Pastor Richard Eirich, the
oldest child of Pastor Michael Eirich and his wife, Anna nee Dascher, was born at Chester, IL, on
February 2, 1852. He received his early education in the Christian day-school
and the public school of his home town. After his confirmation, in 1866, he
entered Concordia College at Fort Wayne, IN, and five years later Concordia
Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO. Among his professors at St. Louis were men
whose names stand out prominently in the history of our dear Synod and the
Lutheran Church in America. -- Dr. C.F.W. Walther, Professor Craemer, Professor
Schaller, and Professor Guenther. Graduating in June, 1874, he was ordained to
the holy ministry in September of the same year and installed as pastor of the
congregation at Purcell Station, IN. On October 29, 1874, he was united in
marriage to Miss Elizabeth Nicol, of Marysville, OH. During the fifty-three
years of his successful service to the Church of Jesus Christ he ministered to
congregations at Purcell Station, 1874 to 1877; Jonesville, IN, 1877 to 1888;
Hamlin, NY, 1888 to 1893; Aurora, IN, 1893 to 1903. During these early years of
his ministry he also placed his splendid literary ability into the service of
the Church by frequently contributing articles to the Lutheran Witness and
the Homiletic Magazine. During his pastorate at Aurora he founded the
now prosperous congregation at Dillsboro, IN. At Aurora he published an English
parish paper, one of the very first to be published within the confines of
Synod. From 1903 to 1909 he served the congregation at Anderson, IN. In April
of 1909 he accepted a call to Baltimore, to act as Synod's immigrant missioary
and city missionary. In the latter capacity he served the mission congregations
at Highlandtown and Overlea, Baltimore. In November, 1922, he accepted a call
to the Church of Our Redeemer, Baltimore, where, in spite of his rapidly
advancing age, he labored five years with great success.
On September 13, 1924, he was privileged to observe his golden anniversary as an ambassador of Jesus Christ and on October 29 of the same year, his golden wedding anniversary.
The greatest sorrow came into his life when on December 5, 1926, it pleased the God of life and death to take from him his beloved and faithful spouse, who, especially in the last years of their married life, had been such a great help to him in his pulpit preparation, a malady of the eyes having made it impossible for him to read ordinary printed matter.
The infirmities and ailments of old age asserting themselves ever more, he severed his connection with the Church of Our Redeemer and retired from the active ministry in November, 1927. The last eighteen months of his life were peacefully and happily spent with his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, Mr. Carl Zink, at Baltimore.
The union of Pastor and Mrs. Eirich was blessed with twelve children, eleven of whom are living and all of whom, with the exception of one daughter, are married.
Early on Sunday morning, July 21, the Lord of the Church suddenly called His faithful servant to the heavenly rest while he was visiting his son, Dr. Karl Eirich, of Nashville, IL. After an impressive service at Nashville, in which Pastor C.P. Rohloff spoke words of comfort to the children living in the Central States, the body was sent to Baltimore. After a short service at the home of his daughter on July 24, in which Pastor Geo. F. Horn read the Scripture-lesson and the undersigned (J. George Spilman) addressed the children living in Baltimore and those who had accompanied the body East, the earthly remains were taken to the Church of Our Redeemer, where the body lay in state until the obsequies in the afternoon. Pastor Oswald W. Kreinheder preached the sermon, and Pastors Otto Burhenn and Rudolph Ressmeyer conducted the liturgical part of the service. Twenty pastors proved their high regard for Pastor Eirich by attending the service. In the cemetery of the German Immanuel Congregation, where the mortal body was laid to rest, Pastor Kreinheder and the undersigned officiated.
Pastor Eirich is survived by eleven children, seventeen grandchildren, one great-grandchild, two brothers, and two sisters.
Among the choicest gifts of God are faithful pastors, true shepherds of their flock. Such a pastor was Father Eirich. In the pulpit, at the sick-bed of his parishioners, in daily (xxx) course with them, his speech was full of pastoral wisdom. (xxx) who sought his advice were counseled well. The su(xxx) substance of all his sermons was the marvelous grace of G(xxx) Christ Jesus. In extolling this grace of God he waxed truly eloquent. And that, because he believed with all his heart what he preached.
We thank God for the gift of this Christian brother and truly evangelical pastor. We thank God that now, after fifty-three years of successful service to the Church, He has called him home and has placed upon his brow the crown undefiled, incorruptible, that passeth not away.
May we follow his faith in, and his courageous confession of, Christ, the world's one and only Savior."
Several shorter obituaries appeared in Baltimore newspapers which add no new information.