Ruth Ekstrom, 106 of Albion, NE, passed away Monday, July 27, 2015 at the Wolf Memorial Good Samaritan Center in Albion, NE.
Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 30, 2015, at Zion Lutheran Church in Albion, NE, with Rev. David Frerichs officiating. Interment will follow at Immanuel-Zion Lutheran South Branch Cemetery, rural Albion, NE. Visitation will be 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Levander Funeral Home in Albion, NE.
Tillie Ruth Ekstrom was born December 24, 1908, to Severin “Sever” and Tilda “Tillie” (Hestekind) Loken, at Albion, NE. She was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel-Zion Lutheran Church, South Branch, rural Albion. She attended grade school at District # 57 in Boone County and graduated from Albion High School in 1927. She continued her education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where she studied music, received a BAE Degree in music, and joined Sigma Alpha Iota, a national professional music sorority.
In 1930, Ruth was married to Garold Ellison at Neligh, NE. To this union two children were born, Geraldine and Russell. On September 5, 1934 she was married to David Ekstrom at Immanuel Zion Lutheran Church, South Branch in rural Albion. Together, they had one son, Milton. They lived north of Newman Grove for 45 years before moving into town in 1979. In June of 1984, Ruth moved into Albion.
Ruth was a farmer’s wife for years. In 1969, she attended Wayne State College, earned her teaching degree and taught school for 11 years in Boone and Antelope Counties. She was an accomplished pianist, taught piano lessons from 1924-1985 and played piano at Zion Lutheran Church and Wolf Memorial Good Samaritan Center.
Ruth was a member of Immanuel Zion Lutheran Church at South Branch and later transferred to Zion Lutheran Church in Albion. Her Christian faith was a very important source of strength in her life. She was a member of the Sons of Norway, an international ethnic lodge and was instrumental in bringing them into Nebraska, the first Nebraska Chapter, and was very proud of her Norwegian Heritage. She belonged to the Albion Writers Club Guild and wrote many poems and short stories, some of which were published. She was also a member of Ladies Aide and past president, and past Conference President.
Ruth is survived by seven grandchildren: Eileen Porter (Raymond)Brown of Phoenix, AZ; Joyce Porter of Lincoln, NE; John Porter of Phoenix, AZ; Mary (Rick) Hasselbalch of Columbus, NE; James R. (Lori)Ellison of Columbus, NE; Cynthia Ellison of Omaha, NE and Bryan Ellison of Oregon; and numerous great and great-great grandchildren, along with many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, both husbands; three children, one grandson Mark Allen Porter in June 2014, six sisters: Somalina Loken, Edith Nelson, Selma Landen, Viola Schmadeke, Ethel Loken, Stella Peterson and a sister in infancy, three brothers: Melbourne, Alfred and Oliver Loken.