David Eichen, a retired Alton firefighter.ALTON - David Eichen lived a life of service for nearly 30 years with the Alton Fire Department where he retired in November as a battalion chief, and he walked away with many memories of his days in uniform.

Right after he retired, he said he hated to walk away and that it was very difficult, but he was ready for the next chapter of his life.

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David is also known for his ability to grow giant pumpkins and has been featured in multiple stories over the years with his late father, Howard. There is a photo that still circulates of a 200-pound whopper pumpkin the pair grew in 2013. He always gives away free pumpkins in his Alton neighborhood each year, again one of his many acts of service.

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He said since he retired, he made himself more available for his mother, who is in her 90s, and for friends.

On David’s last day with the Alton Fire Department, Hit 'n Run had a serious fire in Alton, so he didn’t have any breaks before he closed his career on Nov. 21, 2022.

Now, David is pondering his future and he said it might include going back to school to obtain a master’s degree and possibly teaching in the end.

David Eichen will never be forgotten in the Alton area for his many contributions and the help he provided to citizens for nearly three decades.

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