Lee Eklund, age 71, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 23, 2012.
He was born on September 14, 1941 in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Hub and Lotta Eklund. and lived his early life in Rockford.
He attended Platteville University, receiving his degree in Education. Later, he pursued a Master degree in the audio-visual field.
His entire career was spent teaching and coaching at Wisconsin Heights High School, Black Earth/Mazomanie, the last 7 years as computer technologist for the school district. He retired in 2003 after 40 years of service.
He was devoted to helping form the future lives of adolescents through education and sports coaching. Cross-country, wrestling, and track were his favorites.
Early adult summers were spent at Easter Seal Camp Wawbeek and Wisconsin Badger Camp--camps for the physically challenged and mentally challenged children and adults, respectively.
He met his wife as camp nurse at Wisconsin Badger Camp while he was nature director. They were united in marriage on June 8, 1974, and raised their two children in Mazomanie. In 2005, they moved to their retirement home in Verona. In November 2008, a significant stroke brought new challenges to his life.
He was dedicated and devoted to Wisconsin Heights, high school athletics, family, and friends. He was always there to lend a helping hand. His audio-visual and computer expertise, along with his organizational skills made him a popular community figure.
He enjoyed Boy Scout Troop #58 and working with community theater, community sports events, and community fund-raisers for many years. He was an active member of the Mazomanie Lions Club, the Mazomanie United Church of Christ, and had 38 years with the Wisconsin WIAA State Wrestling Tournament work team.
He loved the outdoors, animals, and nature; Seagull Lake in the Boundary Waters; Peninsula State Park in Door County; golfing, biking, and camping; and of course he was a Packer fan. He enjoyed carpentry, remodeling, trains, Civil War events, genealogy, and all things relating to computers. He loved his Swedish upbringing and heritage, and enjoyed a visit to Sweden where he re-united with relatives in 2008.
After his stroke, he accepted his new challenges with his same dedication and determination. He remained in good spirits, never lost his sense of humor, and was determined to be as independent as possible. His proudest moments were giving his speech when he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009, and walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in 2010.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hub and Lotta Eklund; a son-in-law, Stephen Dyer; and his life-long friend, Harold Carlson. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Peg; his daughter Jodi(Ryan) Jones of Verona; his son Eric(Heather) Eklund of Minneapolis; two grandchildren Grant and Preston Eklund; and many extended family members and friends.
A memorial visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on January 11 at Cress Funeral Home, 3510 Speedway Rd. The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on January 12 at Mazomanie United Church of Christ, 109 W. Hudson Street, Mazomanie with Pastor Carolyn Kennedy presiding. There will be visitation at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
The family sends special thanks to Lee's wrestling buddies who made it possible for him to attend the February State Wrestling Tournament the last 4 years; to family members for sharing their camp-cooked meals and campfires each summer; and to his fellow friends and caregivers at Autumn Light Home for providing a home environment where he was able to maintain his independence and develop new friendships the past 3 years. You were a family he treasured.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mazomanie United Church of Christ.
There is honor in a well-lived life, and he has touched the lives of many.