Cover photo for John Charles Ekern's Obituary
John Charles Ekern Profile Photo
1950 John 2019

John Charles Ekern

October 12, 1950 — July 21, 2019

John Charles Ekern, age 68, was born on October 12, 1950 to Julian and Eileen (Lundberg) Ekern in Detroit Lakes, MN. He was raised in Detroit Lakes and graduated from DLHS in 1968. Following graduation, he continued his education at Bemidji State and Moorhead State and served in the Army National Guard. On September 4, 1971, John married the love of his life, Kathleen Munn at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes. With their three children, they resided in Fargo, ND, Detroit Lakes, MN and Waseca, MN until Kathy’s death in 1990. John filled the room with his larger than life personality. His persistent nature made him a natural salesperson. In his early career, he worked for Northport Clothiers and LJ Norby Company, a suitable job given his keen sense of style. In 1980, a new opportunity with Gillis Agriculture to sell farm equipment brought the family to Waseca. His kids often tagged along on sales calls to farms across Southern Minnesota. He later worked for Standard Register. In 1995, he returned to Detroit Lakes where he worked for Star Equipment and Coldwell Banker. Eleven years ago, he met Linda Lohnes and in her found a life partner. They lived in Detroit Lakes with Linda’s granddaughter, Jada. After retirement, John was happy taking care of the day-to-day house responsibilities. John and Linda enjoyed traveling to tropical destinations, spending time with their grandchildren, and wintering in Florida. John enjoyed playing golf and spent many hours at the course with his golf buddies in Detroit Lakes, Waseca and Florida. He also had a love for the lake and boating, which he passed on to his kids. He was a talented joke teller and, being Scandinavian, always had a good Ole and Lena story. He enjoyed entertaining and was an excellent cook and grill master. He cherished his grandchildren; they knew he was always good for a silly song, funny joke and Oreos and ice cream at any time of the day. John was a member of the Jaycees and First Lutheran Church. John will be greatly missed by his children Jennifer (Phillip) Berndt of Crystal, MN; Christopher (Angie) Ekern of Northfield, MN; Bryan (Alicia Decker) of Eden Prairie, MN; grandchildren Liam Berndt, Elias and Frances Ekern, and Ava Ekern; life partner Linda Lohnes; sisters Gwen Lilya of Soudan, MN; Carol (Keith) Bergren and Julie Raphael of Detroit Lakes, MN; Linda’s children and grandchildren (Jada, Damian, Catalina, Ali, John, Lucas, Eli, Lena, Lylian, Lyrick, and Dante); many nieces and nephews, and his faithful yellow lab, Miss Lilly. John was preceded in death by his parents and wife Kathleen.
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