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Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity

Remembering Eric Almquist

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Remembers Eric Almquist

National Secretary Eric J. Almquist passed to the Chapter Eternal on February 18, 2018, while playing hockey in Chicago. He was 49.

Initiated into the Alpha Omicron Chapter at Iowa State University in 1987, Almquist cycled on the first Journey of Hope team in 1988. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State in 1990 and a Master of Business Administration in management, marketing, and international business from the University of South Florida in 1998.

Professionally, Almquist worked in commercial real estate holding a number of positions with General Growth Properties, Inc., the owner, developer, and manager of over 130 regional malls in 43 states, including Senior Vice President of Asset Management for the past five-and-a-half years.

Known for an ability to challenge others to be better and to find unique solutions to seemingly complex problems, Almquist’s leadership left an indelible mark on Pi Kappa Phi. Prior to joining the National Council in 2014 as National Historian, Almquist served on the Pi Kappa Phi Properties Board of Directors for eight years, holding the position of Vice President – Stephen DePalma Housing Assistant Infrastructure Loan Fund (2006-2012) and Chairman (2012-2014). He was instrumental in creating the Housing Investment Fund during the 53rd Supreme Chapter in 2012, advancing the goal of Pi Kappa Phi Properties to provide quality, local homes for all chapters of the Fraternity. Over the past five years, Pi Kappa Phi Properties has leveraged the fund to acquire 10 new chapter houses on campuses across the country. Almquist also served on The Ability Experience Board of Directors for 10 years, including a term as Chairman from 2004 to 2006.

“He was a man who led in big ways, but also in small moments and through simple choices,” said National President Thomas B. Sullivan, Delta Omega (Texas A&M). “Eric truly embraced his role as a leader, put service before self, and improved the world around him.” 

Almquist received a Merit Citation from the 54th Supreme Chapter in recognition of his continued leadership, service, and dedication to the Fraternity.

“Pi Kappa Phi has been blessed with many great leaders,” said Chief Executive Officer Mark E. Timmes. “Eric exemplified all of the virtues of a Pi Kappa Phi and throughout his life worked perpetually for its benefit. His gentle demeanor and leadership style complemented a deep passion for the success of the fraternity and the meaningful experience it provides to our students and alumni.”

Beyond the fraternity, Almquist loved his family, his alma mater, baseball, hockey, and travel. He had visited every MLB ballpark in the United States, and it was a family tradition to visit a different ballpark for opening day every year. Those closest with him knew Almquist as a mentor, friend, and sounding board. Above all else, he was an incredible husband, father, and fraternity man.

Almquist is survived by his wife Paula and their daughter Caroline.

“Today our fraternity grieves,” added Sullivan. “Eric was a true and faithful brother of Pi Kappa Phi, an example for us all.”

Pi Kappa Phi is observing a period of mourning until sundown on March 6. All initiated members are asked to wear the insignia of mourning — a piece of black crepe fabric worn as a background for the fraternity badge — during this time. Additionally, National President Sullivan has directed all fraternity flags at chapter houses to be flown at half-staff.

Visitation will be Thursday, February 22 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Ryan-Parke Funeral Home in Park Ridge, Ill. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, February 23 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul of the Cross Church. In lieu of flowers, an educational fund is being designated for Eric’s daughter.

Visitation and Funeral Information for
National Secretary Eric Almquist

Visitation is Thursday, February 22 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. (CST) at:
Ryan-Parke Funeral Home
120 S. Northwest Hwy.
Park Ridge, IL 60068

The funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m. (CST) on Friday, February 23 at:

St. Paul of the Cross Church
140 South Northwest Hwy.
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Notes of condolence or remembrance may be sent to the family at:
Paula Almquist
808 S Cumberland Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068-4635