Funeral services were Saturday, March 2 at the United Methodist Church, Gettysburg, with the Rev. Jeff Adel presiding.
John Curtis Eikamp was born March 3, 1983 to Barry and Pam (Lake) Eikamp in Gettysburg, SD. John grew up and attended school in Gettysburg; graduating from Gettysburg High School in 2001. He then attended South Dakota school of Mines and Technology in Rapid City for one year. His love of music then took him to MTSU Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where he completed his Bachelors of Science in Mass Communications Electronic Media Production with minors in Speech and Theater Entertainment Design in 2005
While at school in MTSU, John along with friend, Nathan Jeffries, produced, hosted and edited a music video show called #Distortion TV which aired on MTSU’s tv channel MTTV. John got many major label acts to appear on the show and helped break new rock acts of the day.
From 2005 to 2008 John lived in Nashville, TN, working as a freelance camera operator. While living in Nashville, he worked the 41st CMA Awards Show, CMA Festival, Martina McBride 2007 Tour, an Alan Jackson concert, and a Tracy Byrd concert in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2008 John moved to Sioux Falls, SD, where he worked at the Washington Pavilion in maintenance and as a stage hand and projectionist. He was also a camera operator for all football and basketball games at SDSU from 2008-2012, SD High School Football Championships 2008, 2010 and 2012, and for Midco Sports Network college football and basketball games in Sioux Falls. He worked as a local union stagehand for many big concerts and events such as Alice in Chains, Five Finger Death Punch, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flats and many more. He also worked at the Sioux Falls Arena changing over hockey, basketball and football floors for sporting events.
In 2012 John moved to Tempe, AZ and then to Scottsdale in 2017, where he resided at the time of his death. While in Arizona, John worked as a freelance Corporate Labor and Operator, Utility/Video Tech for many companies which took him all over the United States. He also worked as a Utility/Video Tech for NFL Network for Thursday night football, 2015 NFL Pro Bowl Draft, Super Bowl Media Day and Super Bowl XLIX New England Patriots vs Seattle Sea Hawks.
Through ESPN Sports and Fox Sports Network, John ran lower first, third base and center field camera for Major League Baseball spring 2013-2018. He had 20 games already scheduled for 2019.
John’s career gave him the chance to really enjoy his love of music, concerts, and bands. He was able to meet and work with many famous people. John was a self-taught bass guitar player, and while he was in high school he participated in band all four years playing bass guitar and the baritone.
John loved to golf and was an avid Denver Bronco’s fan. Just last May John surprised his mom for her birthday with tickets, and he took her and Barry to a Bronco’s game in Phoenix in October.
We always joked the snow bird or summer bird has come home the past five summers to cooler weather. John enjoyed summers at home working with his dad installing satellite dishes and helping his mother with gardening, watering flowers and keeping a close watch on the sweet corn patch.
Movies can have a profound effect on the world. John’s favorite movie was “A Beautiful Mind”. The movie sheds light on mental illness, a particularly misunderstood and widely stigmatized illness. Because mental illnesses are a problem everywhere and finding a way to talk about this is very difficult. These families often suffer in silence. No matter what you go through, it’s really how you deal with it that can be very sad and depressing or uplifting, motivating, and even empowering. We all have a choice in how we deal with things that happen to us. These past 11 years John’s choice was to live life to its fullest. Even though John struggled with mental illness (bipolar) these past 11 years, he was very love-able and capable of giving love and kindness to all the people he met and lives he touched.
Something that John wrote shortly before his death, “When you have nothing, the only currency you have is kindness; and kindness is more valuable than money.”
John is survived by his parents, Barry and Pam Eikamp of Gettysburg; sisters, Jackie (Jim) Hulscher of Doland and Jennie (Brady) Gross of Iroquois; nieces and nephews: Lainey, Grace and Paige Hulscher and Oscar, Quinn and Kori Gross; and aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was proceeded in death by his grandparents: Boyd and Lillian Lake and Maynard and Leona Eikamp.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with John’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)