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Lee Eklund - obituary - MessAge Media: Obituaries

Lee Eklund - obituary

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Posted: Monday, February 13, 2017 9:47 am

Lee Eklund, 65, passed away peacefully in his home in Hawley, Minnesota, on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, surrounded by loved ones.

A celebration of life service was held on Monday, Feb.6, at Hawley Lutheran Church. Visitation was on Sunday, Feb. 5, with a sharing of memories.

Lee is survived by his wife of 41 years, Jane; children Erica (Andrew) Cooper and Kristen (Brian) Heisserer; four grandchildren, Braeden, Marit, Mason and Blake; brother Bruce (Joy) Eklund; brother Barry (Carol) Eklund; sister Maggie (John) Brooks; brother-in-law Craig Hagen; and wonderful nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, younger brother Tim, mother-in -law Carol Hagen, father-in-law Norm Hagen, and sister-in-law LeRoyce Hagen.

Lee was born on Jan. 26, 1952, in Mora to Leonard and Evelyna (Broselle) Eklund. Lee grew up and attended school in Isle, graduating in 1970. As an all-around honor athlete, Lee participated in football, basketball, track and baseball. He continued his education and graduated in 1974 from Moorhead State University in Moorhead with a physical education and health degree. Lee was a proud member of the Dragon football team, where he played tight end for four years. His teams were later inducted into the Dragon Hall of Fame.

On July 12, 1975, Lee married the love of his life, Jane Hagen.

Lee touched the lives of countless students and families at Hawley Elementary School for 38 years. He was hired as the school’s first full-time elementary physical education teacher. Lee devoted his life to the promotion of physical fitness and forming genuine connections with all students.

Over 43 years, Lee was passionate about coaching football, track and basketball. He was honored to be named a Section Football and Track Coach of the Year and was the recipient of the Butch Nash Outstanding Assistant Coach Award. Lee helped build the Nugget Football Family by mentoring many young athletes with a talent for finding the humor and positive in all situations. Most recently, he served with pride as the Nuggets Blue Dog coach.

Lee showed us the importance of community and family. He was an active and dedicated member of Hawley Lutheran Church, the Minnesota Football Coaches Association and Lions Club. Lee also served as a confirmation mentor and drivers education instructor. He enjoyed spending time with family, friends, and most of all his special grandchildren. Summers were filled with family time at the lake spent fishing, swimming and boating.

The family would like to thank Roger Maris Cancer Center and Hospice of the Red River Valley for their care and support. To continue Lee’s legacy of supporting student athletes, the family will establish a scholarship in his honor through the Hawley Scholarship Foundation.

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