Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

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Margrete Ekstam

While Margrete Ekstam was always in God’s hands, on Sunday, June 24, she slipped from ours into Paradise. She has rejoined her beloved husband and other loved ones.

She was born prematurely to George P. Mitchell and his wife Gertrude (Mynning) in ekstamChicago, Illinois. She fought numerous acute and chronic illnesses, defeating some, managing others. She had a younger brother, George, who predeceased her.

She met the love of her life, Roy Ekstam, at a dance on Friday the 13th of March. He swept her into his arms and from that time forward they were inseparable. At that time, one had to attain a certain military rank before being allowed to marry (though they joked that it took that long to save money for the license).

They were finally married December 28, 1940, on the eve of World War II. There were a number of painful separations during deployment in World War II and The Korean War. After these were over, he returned to Chanute AFB and completed 20 years of military service, then continued essentially the same job as a Civil Service worker.

Roy and Margrete had three children: Jacqueline (Jacqui), Cheryl (Cherry), and Fredrick (Fred). They took pride that all three of their children attained advanced degrees in their fields. They also had three grandchildren (one deceased), two great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Margrete’s life was her family and the church. She was baptized in infancy in the First Methodist Church at Des Plaines and regularly attended services.

When her parents moved to Champaign, she joined the First United Methodist Church here. She kept her membership here continuously since 1935. She was active in church, joining the Dorcas Circle and holding many offices, including president of United Methodist Women. She also was president of Church Women United, and active there a number of years. She continued this work until her health declined. She was most fortunate to remain mentally clear and alert all her life.

She cannot be replaced; all of us left take comfort from our happy memories of her, and from belief that she has joined her beloved husband and other loved ones who have gone before. We will always miss her.

Funeral services are at the First United Methodist Church of Champaign on Friday, June 29, at 2:00 p.m. with visitation at the church beginning at 1:00 p.m. The Reverend Tom Corum will officiate. Burial will be with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.

Condolences may be offered at www.HeathandVaughn.com.