Gladys O. Ekeland

Gladys O. Ekeland, age 101, of Belmond, passed away, Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at the Rehabilitation Center of Belmond.

Funeral services for Gladys O. Ekeland will be held at 1:30 P.M. Sunday, January 11, 2015 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church rural Belmond and Clarion. Pastor James Harbaugh will officiate. Burial will take place in the St Olaf Lutheran Church Cemetery at the church. Visitation for Gladys O. Eckland will be held from 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. Saturday, January 10, 2015, at the church and will continue for one hour prior to services on Sunday. Gladys’ funeral and visitation is being held at identical times as her son, Alfred Johnson, who passed away on Tuesday January 6, 2015 at his home near Clarion. Dugger Funeral Home, 111 Luick’s Lane South in Belmond is in charge of Gladys’ funeral arrangements.

Gladys Ekeland, 101 of rural Belmond passed away on January 7, 2015 at the Belmond Rehabilitation Center. She was born on July 12, 1913 to Ole and Gertie (Wagner) Anderson and raised on a farm near Holmes, IA. She married Leonard Johnson on October 8, 1938 and two this union to sons were born; Edwin in 1941 and Alfred in 1942. Leonard passed away in 1957. In 1966 Gladys married Sherman Ekeland and together they enjoyed life on the farm in rural Belmond. In 2001 Sherman moved in to the Belmond Care Center where he resided until he passed away January 13, 2005.

The church was always very important to Gladys. She was a faithful member of the St Olaf Lutheran Church for most of her adult life and she looked forward to attending church each Sunday. She was an active member and served the church in many capacities including custodian. Gladys retired proudly from the position when she was a mere 90 years old after almost 50 years of dedicated service. She enjoyed participating in Ladies Aid, Alter Guild and Club. Gladys’ favorite pastimes were quilting, baking, gardening and of course spending time with her family. There was almost always a quilt in process and she made one for all of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren (over 25 total) in addition to the ones that were for church bazaars or other people. She loved making Norwegian food and treats. She especially enjoyed baking potato cakes with her special friends Kay Marshall and Carolyn Lund. There was always homemade bread, Kringla and cookies for visitors. She loved baking for the holidays and always gave each family member a sack full of goodies as part of their gift. Birthdays always warranted a fresh loaf of bread and family members looked forward to that. In the summers she would can and freeze enough vegetables to give to her entire family. Gladys was truly the happiest when she was with her family and she was so very proud of all of them. She loved when the grand children and great-grand children came to visit. She will be deeply missed by all that knew her.

Those left to cherish her memory include her son Edwin Johnson of Belmond, two daughters-in-law Donna Johnson of Kanawha, Ann Johnson of Belmond; Grandchildren: Laurie Johnson (Terry Cook) of Garner, Lisa (Matt) Sweet of Cedar Rapids, Brent (Terra) Johnson of Clarion, René (Dan) Retterath of Elma and Darren (Jody) Johnson of Clarion, 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Preceding her in death are her parents, husbands Leonard and Sherman, son Alfred, brothers Olaf and Andy and numerous extended family.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at the Iowa Specialty Hospital in Clarion and the Belmond Rehabilitation Center for the wonderful care they provided for Gladys.



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