PASSAGES: JOURNALIST AND EDITOR GREG EICHELBERGER: 1961-2018

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By Miriam Raftery

March 7, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Greg Eichelberger, former editor of the East County Californian and East County Herald newspapers, passed away March 2nd.   The writer known for his acerbic wit penned his own obituary, in which he wrote that he died of complications from heart disease, diabetes, an irregular heartbeat and “being a fat slob.”

He wrote freelance articles for various other publications, covering topics ranging from news and sports to movie reviews. He also co-hosted “The Movie Guys in San Diego” show on KOGO radio. 

Born in Illinois and raised in Missouri, he served on a church mission and later joined the Navy before settling in San Diego county for many years. His marriage to Melba ended in divorce and Greg found himself a devoted single father. 

In later years, he moved to Pocatello, Idaho, where he worked as an assistant editor at the Blackfoot Morning News.

"It's been an interesting life," he reflected in his obituary. "Many sad moments, but also many wonderful and unique experiences. I have always believed in reincarnation, so this is an opportunity to see if that concept does in fact exist. If so, all the better; if not, well, what difference does it make? I tried to do the best I could and live the way the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Torah and other great missives have exemplified."

In keeping with his wishes, no funeral services are planned.

Local East County leaders responded with sadness to the news of his death. 

El Cajon Councilman Gary Kendrick remembered Eichelberger as a “very good family man.”  He recalled Eichelberger running political cartoons that irked some who were skewered, but Kendrick recalls it as a “badge of honor, like being in Mad Magazine.”

San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Karen Pearlman posted on Facebook, “What an outstanding reporter and good man... and his obit ("fat slob" !?!) made me belly laugh, as Gregory was wont to do. I'll miss him so.”

Dee Dean, editor at the East County Herald, recalled working under Greg in his years as editor there, adding, “Goodspeed, my friend.”