My life with Eric was an adventure; he kept me in stitches every day of our lives together. He would never think of himself as an artist, creative, or patient, but he was. He loved to create things with his hands. When Olivia was in pre-K, she has an assignment to make a pumpkin into a book character. By no means was this a contest between the students. However, Eric did not work that way. His Uno (this is what he called Olivia) was going to have the best pumpkin in her class, grade, and, if possible, the school. He made legs from wire and pipe cleaners and made that pumpkin into a spider. It was my job to figure out the book this character came from.
Since Eric was in the Marines he loved his firearms. He loved researching about them, trading them, taking them apart and putting them back together. But what Eric loved most was cleaning and repairing them. He was oblivious to the world around him when he did that. He loved molding, shaping, and creating with his hands. I miss that the house smells like gun cleaning products. I never thought I would say that, but I have never been “here” before.
Eric was also the kind of person to help another at the drop of a hat. He had a close friend in desperate need of a friend. The time was late in the evening. I only heard one part of the conversation, his. I saw the worry and concern in his eyes; he couldn’t hide that no matter how he tried. The next thing I knew, he was putting his shoes on, and he was kissing me a good evening and promised he would text me when he was on his way home, and he did just that. Several hours later, he texted that he was on his way home. He saved his friend’s life that night. Eric saved the lives of many people during his career as a police officer. There were many times when we would be out to dinner, and someone would come up to us telling him that they had turned their life around because Eric had saved them. I was and still am so proud of him.
When it came to family, Eric did not hesitate to provide and protect. I felt safe, and so did our kids. Now that he is not here, there is sometimes a feeling of uneasiness. I try to make the kids feel safe, but they are quick to remind me that I am not daddy and daddy knew how to fight. Kids can be so honest! Below is the eulogy that my brother-in-law wrote and read at Eric’s funeral. He molded everything in the following paragraphs that described Eric perfectly.
Don Carmichael, a father of four left this world in 2001 to be with the Lord and on Thursday, May 16, 2019 after 18 years, he welcomed his son Eric Ray Carmichael into the gates of Heaven never to say goodbye again.
Eric was born September 10, 1974 in Lawton to Donald Ray Carmichael and Brenda Sue Benson Carmichael. Don later married Renee Harvey Carmichael in 1983 who four years laer adopted Eric and his sister Kim.
Eric graduated from Byng High School in 1992 with his high school diploma and a State Championship ring in Class A Baseball. Following high school Eric enlisted and served the next 4 years honorably in the United States Marine Corp during which time he was also a proud member of the Chickasaw Warrior Society, a group of the Chickasaw veterans who reach out and attempt to build relationships between them and the young Chickasaw Warriors like Eric, who were serving in active duty through their shared experiences as Chickasaw Warriors serving in The United States Military.
In 2014 Eric earned his Bachelors Degree from East Central University in General Studies with a concentration in business management. During his final year at ECU in God’s perfect time, Eric married the girl he had fallen for in the 5th grade, Lorie Robins on July 11, 2014 in Eureka Springs, AR in front family, friends and their new precious baby girl, Miss Olivia Grace.
Eric worked as a law enforcement officer for several different police departments in cities all throughout Pontotoc, Seminole and Hughes Counties including two years as the Chief of Police in Stonewall. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and Trinity Baptist Church.
The way Eric talked about the time served his country as a United States Marine., or his city as its Chief of Police, made the greatness of their impact on his life quite clear, but to hear him talk about becoming a father and how much he loved his family made it clear that they did not have a similar impact on his life , they were his life. The University educated him, the Marines trained him, CLEET certified him, but it was Lori who completed him and helped him become the husband and father God had called him to be.
In the Marines, he served because he was ordered to, in law enforcement , he served because he was paid to, but he served his family not because he had to or because he needed to, he served simply because wanted to.
Eric was faithful to the fight, faithful to the faith, and he was faithful to the finish. Well done, thy good and faithful servant.
Eric is preceded in death by his father, Donald Ray Carmichael.
He is survived by his wife, Lorie, of the home and their two children, Olivia Carmichael and Kaleb Carmichael of the home; mother, Renee Burkhardt and husband Karl of Ada; three sisters, Kim Cheatwood and husband Don of Bristow, Kayla Carmichael of Ada; Laura Robinson and husband Dane of Holdenville; nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles too numerous to name and friends too numerous to count.