Ted Eklund, age 95, went home to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on April 19, 2021. Ted was born on December 14, 1925 to Elmer and Eunice Eklund at Ryegate, MT. He attended school in Barber, MT, later transferring to Ryegate where he graduated from high school in 1943.
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Ted was a World War 2 veteran, having enlisted in the U.S. Navy after high school. He served in the South Pacific with the Amphibious Corps aboard the LSM 387. Having served 3 years with the U.S. Navy, Ted was honorably discharged and returned home to Barber, MT, ranching with his father and brothers.
In November, 1951, Ted married Blanche Sandvig in Billings, MT. To this union, a son, Conrad, was born in October, 1954. They later divorced, and, in 1972, Ted married Margaret Bucher in Lewistown, MT. Ted continued on the family ranch until it was sold in 1998. Shortly after, he and Margaret moved and retired to Billings. In June, 2008, Margaret died. In 2014, Ted moved to Mission Ridge Senior Living where he spent his remaining years.
In addition to ranching, Ted was involved in many areas. He was a rural mail carrier for the south Barber area, retiring after 30 years. He was active in Montana Rural Letter Carriers Association, and was elected state president in 1970. That same year, Ted was awarded the “Outstanding Rural Carrier” of Montana. He was a life-long member of the Montana Farmers Union, serving many years on the state board of directors. He also served on the board of directors of the local co-op in Ryegate. In 1996, he was named “Outstanding Cooperator” of the Lower Musselshell Soil District. From 1976 to 1977, Ted participated in the Kellogg Education Program at MSU. He was a member of the Ryegate School Board for 6 years. He served as a member of the Golden Valley County Commissioners for 14 years, retiring in 1998.
The church was a big part of Ted’s life. He was a life-long member of Grace Lutheran Church in Barber MT. Upon retirement, he and Margaret transferred membership to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Billings where they kept involved in church activities.
Ted was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Eunice; brothers’ Ralph, Gordon, and Don; and wife Margaret.
Survivors include his son, Conrad (Julie) Eklund; two granddaughters Shanna (Tony) Cookson, Chelsey (Nick) Gochis; three great-grandchildren Natalie Gochis, Clara Cookson and Caleb Cookson; two sisters Joyce Stewart, and Beth Nunley; and many nephews and nieces.
Special appreciation goes out to Ethel Aichele, who was always there to meet Ted’s needs during his last few years at Mission Ridge.
A memorial service will be held at Smith West Chapel, 304 34th St. West, Billings, MT on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 1 pm. Interment of ashes will follow with military honors.
Memorials suggested to Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd or charity of the donor’s choice.