William J. Ecklund
Beloved father William J. (Bill) Ecklund, 90, of Jefferson passed from this life December 5, 2013 after a valiant recovery from open heart surgery.
Bill was born in Jefferson on October 5, 1923 to Harry and Ruth Schilling Ecklund. He was their first child, followed by Jerry and Robert, his younger brothers.
Bill graduated from Jefferson High School in 1941 after illustrious seasons for the football and basketball teams of which he was a part. He continued his education at Grinnell College studying mechanical engineering and then transferred to the University of Colorado to play football.
While in Colorado, Bill was a member of a NavyV12 unit. He was called up from Colorado, commissioned as an Ensign and served as a transportation officer in the Pacific theatre during WWII.
After his honorable discharge, Bill returned to the family plumbing business, joining his father and his brother, Jerry. In later years, Ecklund Plumbing was recognized as the oldest family business in Jefferson.
In 1948, Bill was married to the love of his life, Jane Fay Ecklund. They were blessed with three children, David, Donna, and Douglas.
Bill was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served faithfully as a Trustee, Sunday School Treasurer, and usher. He developed eternal friendships with his brothers and sisters in Christ.
Bill was widely revered for his service to the community through a broad collection of organizations. Bill’s longest standing service was in the Floyd W Brown American Legion Post 0011 where he was commander.
His service to the Jefferson Fire Department was also long standing, from 1951 through 1994 with 15 years as Fire Chief. He was a Jefferson City Council member from 1958-1975.
Bill was a member of the Jefferson Kiwanis and served as its President from 1981-1982.
In 1997 he was the Jefferson Community Betterment Award winner. He was inducted into the State of Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1990.
Bill consistently demonstrated the importance of values and a strong work ethic. He cared deeply for his family, church and community and was consistently willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others. He was always a volunteer, optimistic and confident no matter how difficult the situation. He was a leader of men.
Bill is survived by his wife, Jane Ecklund, brother, Robert (Jan) Ecklund of Charlotte, NC, son, David (Kathleen) Ecklund of Vonore, TN, daughter, Donna (Bill) Sutton of Jefferson, son, Douglas (Mitzi) Ecklund of Clive, and AFS son, Willy Tomboy of Belgium. Grandchildren include Ryan (Heather) Ecklund of West Des Moines, Sarah (Edward) Nazar of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Zachary Sutton of Augusta, GA, and Natalie Ecklund and William Ecklund of Clive. Great-grandchildren include Arabella, Joseph and David Ecklund, and Elizabeth Nazar.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Harry and Ruth Ecklund, and his brother, Jerry Ecklund.
Funeral services were held Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at Abundant Life Ministries Church in Jefferson. Words of comfort were by Rev. David Schroeder of Abundant Life Ministries Church. Piano and vocals were by Miranda Sebourn and Jared Turpen. Music selections were “How Great Thou Art” and “This is Just What Heaven Means To Me”.
Casket bearers were Chad Olson, Del Zmolek, Emmanuel Sang, Eldon Cunningham, Dave Briggs, and Steve Jackson. Interment was at the Jefferson Cemetery in Jefferson with military rites by Floyd Brown American Legion Post #11, Jefferson V.F.W Post #9599 and the United States Navy Honor Guard.
Funeral arrangements were by Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home, Jefferson, www.sliningerrossowfuneralhome.com, 515-386-2171.