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Mary L. Ekberg, 85, passed away peacefully of natural causes in her Grand Forks home October 9, 2019.
She was born Sept. 23, 1934, to Joseph and Mary (Stremick) Waltz of Langdon, ND. She attended rural school in Easby Township through 8th grade and graduated from St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon in 1952. Shortly after graduation, Mary started working at the Langdon Creamery as a bookkeeper and worked there until 1954. On Aug. 26, 1954, she married Leonard Ekberg of Osnabrock, ND, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon. Mary worked at Sandum’s Department Store in Langdon. She lovingly cared for children at the Langdon Day Care Center for 22 years until she retired in 2004. In 2007 the couple moved to Grand Forks to be closer to children and grandchildren. They celebrated their 57th anniversary in 2011. Leonard passed away Oct. 24, 2011.
In 2012, Mary started as a volunteer in the gift shop at Altru Hospital, a job she loved. Talking with and helping people at the gift shop became her passion. Mary’s faith was very important to her and she was a Eucharistic minister at Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND. In springtime, Mary loved planting flowers and enjoyed them all summer long. When not volunteering at the gift shop, she loved to do Artex painting, embroidery, crocheting hangers, and playing games on her iPad. Mary’s biggest love was entertaining her family and friends and she so looked forward to frequent visits from her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of Mary’s other pleasures were sitting around a roaring chiminea with a cool Chelada in her hand, and playing games like Uno, Kings in the Corner, pinochle, and Farkle. She also looked forward to her Bunko girls night out. She was a fantastic cook and baker and gave most of the goodies away to family and friends. A special joy was sewing baby blankets for her great-grandchildren.
Mary is survived by her children: Dr. Carol Murie, Grand Forks, ND; Darrell (Julie) Ekberg, Manvel, ND; Colleen (Bruce) Hagen, New Rockford, ND; Dean Ekberg, Langdon, ND; her sister Lisa (Ken) Geisen, Seattle, WA; sisters-in-law: Shirley (Glen) Hiltner, Cordes Lakes, AZ; Evelyn (Delanor) Chaput, Cooperstown, ND; Lea Waltz, Langdon, ND, and many nieces, nephews and extended family. Also surviving are her grandchildren: Riley Hagen and friend Renee Bella and their son Henry; John Murie; Jennifer (Trevis) Ekberg and their sons Corbin and Theodore; Liz Hagen; Anna (AJ) Hamzehpour; and step-granddaughter Paulette Schill. She also leaves behind her beloved and faithful cat, Frisky.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers: James, Edwin, Victor and Raymond (infant) Waltz; and infant granddaughter Janelle Ekberg.
Funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, October 17, 2019, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon, ND, with visitation starting at noon. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Langdon.