Erich Eiben passed away unexpectedly on October 29th of this year. He was 36 years old.
Erich was born and raised in Marquette. He was a curious and precocious child with many friends. He had a sophisticated ear for contemporary music across many genres and loved gaming and computers from an early age.
Erich graduated from Marquette Senior High School where he played several years on the MSHS soccer team. He began his undergraduate degree at NMU but completed a BS degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota. He then moved to Denver to complete a Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. He worked for several years for a small landscape firm in Denver before moving to Seattle. There he opened his own Landscape Design business which he was growing successfully at the time of his passing.
Erich was a young man of diverse interests and talents. In his work he loved transforming landscapes into areas of beauty and saw each project through from design to installation to maintenance. He loved working with his hands and digging in the dirt, getting satisfaction from seeing gardens grow and mature. He filled his apartment with plants that he tended and nurtured. Outside his door in the center of the city he created a magical container garden appreciated by fellow tenants who had been unable to see the possibilities. He was a gifted artist, enjoying drawing and painting in his spare time. His apartment walls sang with his art. He was an avid biker and learned everything he could about bicycle maintenance. He biked as often as he could on a bike he custom made for city travel. He was committed to the environment and lived his life trying to make the smallest of footprints. Erich was a kind and loyal friend and had many who appreciated his fun and mischievous personality. Though he was good at small talk, he especially enjoyed challenging others to think and imagine beyond the superficial. Erich found the most peace among friends, camping outdoors, or drafting garden designs. Above all, his family meant everything to him.
Erich was preceded in death by his sister, Meggan.
Erich’s bright, creative, loving light will be sorely missed by his parents, Carl and Melissa, and sister, Linnea, along with many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Erich did not enjoy winters. Likewise the family will wait until spring to hold a celebration of Erich’s life. The date is to be announced.
The family would like to express special thanks to Steve McHugh and friends in Seattle who have gone above and beyond to help us settle Erich’s estate. They have turned one of the darkest moments of our lives into a moment of comfort and hope. We would also like to thank Erich’s special friend, Rachel Chen, whose steadfast companionship and compassion meant so much to Erich and us.
The family would like to see Erich’s life honored appropriately. Gifts in his memory can be directed to the Marquette Beautification and Restoration Committee, Inc (MBRC), PO Box 334, Marquette, MI 49855. A special Marquette Beautification project will be constructed in his memory.
Canale-Tonella Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting Erich’s family where memories and condolences may be shared at canalefuneral.com