Ashland man dies after fall near Roseburg

ROSEBURG — A man who fell to his death Saturday afternoon has been identified as Daniel Eckstein, 66, of Ashland, a psychology professor who taught around the world, was a prolific writer and had a brief career as a professional football player.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported Eckstein was staying at a vacation home at 12839 North Bank Road east of Roseburg with other relatives when he fell. His body was found at the bottom of a cliff on the North Umpqua River near the water at about 4:50 p.m. He had not been seen for several hours. Sheriff's officials said it appeared he had ascended most of the way up the side of the cliff when he lost his balance and tumbled to his death. Eckstein fell 50 to 55 feet.

Eckstein served on the faculty of colleges around the world and as a consultant in his 43 years as a psychologist.

He also operated the Ashland-based organization Leadership by Encouragement and was the author of 21 books, including "Raising Respectful Kids in a Rude World" and "Leadership by Encouragement."

Eckstein's friend, Janaki Kerr of Ashland, described Eckstein as a man who made people happy.

"He had the biggest heart on the planet," Kerr said Tuesday. "He was full of joy and love and encouragement. He was just a delight to be around."

Kerr said that Eckstein was due to begin a new job as head counseling supervisor at Bastyr University in San Diego in September. He had been a regular visitor to the Ashland area for the past 25 years and participated in meditation at the Foundation for Meditative Studies. He was staying in Ashland over the summer break.

Eckstein was until recently a consulting psychologist at the Saba University School of Medicine in the Dutch Caribbean and a visiting professor at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto. He had written a quarterly column for "The Family Journal" since 1993, which included questionnaires and activities for couples and families.

Prior to becoming a psychologist he was an All-American football player at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C.

A defensive back, he was drafted in the 15th round in 1969 by the Green Bay Packers. He was the last player drafted from the school until 2012. After a tryout with the Packers, he played a season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League. He also was with the Miami Dolphins, according to his website.

Reach News-Review reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or

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