THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Roger C. Eklund
Issue Date: October 18, 2018
Roger Clement Eklund, 90, of Niagara, passed away Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, surrounded by family, after a brief illness.
Born May 3, 1928, in Norway, Mi., to Hobert Eklund and Eileen (Soderlund) Eklund, he moved with his family to Niagara in 1931 and the family welcomed his sister, Dorothy in 1936.
He spent his youth fishing for trout and hunting for birds and deer and was an avid cross-country skier. After graduating from Niagara High School in 1946, he joined his father in working at Niagara Paper, where he worked for 46 years. Both operated and retired from the Super Calendar machine, which he took great pride in.
In 1950, he married June Reath of Kingsford, Mi. and they had three children, Mark, Linda and Todd. They later divorced but remained committed and connected until her death in 2015.
He loved music, but mostly his family, friends, and community. He played the trombone in high school, was in the Norway City Band for six decades and the Dickinson County Band for four years.
In retirement, he played music and sang at senior centers, nursing homes, and churches. He received the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Breen Center in recognition for his meal-time banjo concerts. His serenades at family gatherings was always welcome.
He also built a deer camp with his son, was a purposeful man and got up early to exercise and create wood-working projects for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of his work can be seen at the Niagara Area Historical Society.
At age 88, he re-taught himself to play the piano, was a good letter-writer and deft with a funny sketch or pun. Above all, he loved being with family and enjoyed being with his friend, Ruth Joy Vanderwarf.
He is survived by a son, Mark (Pam) Eklund of DePere; a daughter, Linda (James) Minten of Green Bay; a son, Todd Eklund of Niagara; Sandra Potts, mother of two of his grandchildren; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and a brother-in-law, Dan Daniels of Pickerington, Ohio.
Among his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Daniels in 2012.
Visitation was held at Riverside United Methodist Church from 9:30 a.m. until time of the funeral service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. Contributions can be made to Riverside United Methodist Church and Norway City Band. Jacobs Funeral Home, Niagara Chapel assisted the family with arrangements.