SHAWNEETOWN - Einar Victor Dyhrkopp, 82, passed away Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, at his residence on Gold Hill Ranch surrounded by his loved ones.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Shawneetown with viewing from 10 to 11 a.m. The Rabbi Sam Goldman will officiate. Internment will be in Westwood Cemetery with Masonic rites and military honors performed at the grave site. Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, honorary donations can be made to Shawneetown American Legion or Equality Masonic Lodge 2.
Cox and Son Funeral Home in Shawneetown is in charge of arrangements.
Einar was born March 16, 1926, in Old Shawneetown to Victor and Vevith (Denton) Dyhrkopp. He graduated from Shawneetown High School in the spring of 1945.
He was drafted into the U.S. Navy at the end of his junior year of high school, and he was called to serve on the USS Aaron Ward (DM 34). He served two years in the Navy, where he was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for his service during the Battle of Okinawa on the Aaron Ward as a picket ship on radar picket station. Aaron Ward (DM 34) took six direct hits from suicide planes, more than any other ship of its size.
After returning home from serving his country, Einar married Frances Hope Sanders Dec. 14, 1946. In 1961, he started Gold Hill Ranch, a grain and livestock farm based in Shawneetown. While working in Shawneetown, he was elected mayor, initiated a land development company, Dyhrkopp Development, specializing in housing and commercial building. And, for 22 years, he was a partner and chief operating officer of Shawnee Cabinets, Inc.
He was director of Illinois One Bank and its predecessor in Shawneetown for 33 years. He also served as vice president of Illinois One Bancorp, the holding company for Illinois One Bank, which was located in Shawneetown, Elizabethtown and Golconda.
Einar was president of Tecumseh International Corporation, a firm involved in coal energy trading. He was the president of his own corporate consulting firm, EVD Corporation. He was a lifelong Democrat and served on many Illinois state commissions.
He was active in numerous elections, including Illinois State Legislators, U.S. Representatives, U.S. Senators, Illinois Governors and U.S. Presidents. He was a member of Equality Masonic Lodge 2, Scottish Rite Bodies, Shawneetown American Legion, the Shrine and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 1992, Einar was appointed elector to the Electoral College in and for the state of Illinois. In November 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Einar a governor of the U.S. Postal Board, a post he held until Dec. 8, 2002. During his tenure on the Postal Board, he was elected chairman and vice chairman by his peers.
He was a world traveler for business and pleasure. He visited Japan, Mexico, Panama, England and France during his time in the Navy. He also visited Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Canada, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad during vacations and business for the U.S Postal Service. He also visited Point Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost point in North America.
Einar and Frances were married 62 years and had one son, the late Anthony Wayne Dyhrkopp.
He is survived by his wife, Frances Hope (Sanders) Dyhrkopp; a brother, Felix Dyhrkopp; daughter-in-law, Ellen (Lambert) Dyhrkopp; three grandchildren, Douglas Einar Dyhrkopp, Derek and Kara (Dyhrkopp) Brass, and Aaron Joseph Dyhrkopp.
Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.coxandson.com.