Paul E. Ekstrand, age 93, of Glenwood, formerly of Hutchinson and Cokato, died Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Glenwood Village Care Center in Glenwood, following a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born June 23, 1916, in Cokato, the son of Ernest and Martha (Skogland) Ekstrand. Paul grew up in Cokato and attended school there, graduating from Cokato High School in 1935.
Following graduation, he worked at Corner Grocery in Cokato until 1939, when he moved to California and went to work at Douglas Aircraft Company.
Paul was united in marriage to Elaine Arlyne Schutz Feb. 8, 1942, in Yuma, AZ.
That same year, Paul entered the US Navy, serving during World War II, from 1942 until 1945.
Following his discharge, he and his family settled in Brandon, MN, where Paul worked first for Farmers Coop Oil from 1946-1949, and then as the manager of Gardonville Coop Telephone Association from March of 1949 until May of 1954.
In 1954, Paul moved his family to Calvert City, KY. The next year, the family moved to Webster City, IA, where they lived until Paul was transferred to Hutchinson, in 1959.
In addition to the various sales positions he held, in 1962, Paul and his brother, Waldo Ekstrand purchased Tri-County Telephone Co in Emery, SD. The pair also purchased the Lowry Telephone Company in 1965. In 1973, Paul bought out Waldo’s share of the companies.
In 1982, Paul and Arlyne retired, enabling them to spend more time between their home in Hutchinson, their cabin on Lobster Lake, and winters in Westbrook Village, AZ. In 1991, the couple sold their home in Hutchinson, and built a new home in Lowry, MN.
Arlyne died in July of 1997, following 55 years of marriage.
In October of 2004, Paul sold his home in Lowry, and in April of 2008, he moved to Glenwood Estates, where he lived until March of 2010, when he became a resident at Glenwood Retirement Village.
Over the years, Paul was active in the many communities in which he lived. He was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry, served on a local school board and fire department, and was a member of the American Legion Club, the Lions Club, the Masons, the Shriners, and others.
His hobbies included fishing, golfing, and collecting antique telephones.
Paul is survived by his daughter, Mary Ellen (John) Duro of Ft. Dodge, IA; two sons, Richard P. (Tammie) Ekstrand of Lowry, and James O. (Barb) of Alexandria; five grandchildren, Andrea (Joe) McGough, Steven (Mary) Duro, Dacia (Ted) Reichmann, Bria (Andrew) Shea, and Joshua Ekstrand; seven great-grandchildren, Alli and Matthew McGough, Nathan and Charlie Duro, and Madelynn, Maxwell and Myles Reichmann; one sister, Alice Skinner of Anoka; as well as many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, Arlyne, Paul was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers, Arnold, Joe, Willard, Waldo, John, Irwin, and in infancy, Alden; and three sisters Victoria Katzenmeyer, Lillian Wessman, and Evelyn Ekbom.
Funeral services were Tuesday, May 4 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lowry, with the Rev. Elaine Leone officiating. Interment was in St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery in Lowry.
Visitation was Monday, May 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood, and continued Tuesday morning at the church, one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements were with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood. Online condolences may be directed to www.hoplinhitchcockfuneralhome.com