Charles Ekle

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2010

Charles Ekle, 84, of Lyle, died on July 13, 2010, at Austin Medical Center. 
He  was born June 5, 1926, in Canton, S.D., the son of Charles and Ollie (Gubbrud) Ekle. He graduated from Canton High School in 1944, was drafted, and enlisted in the Navy that fall. He served on the USS Trippe, an escort ship serving in Okinawa during the closing months of World War II. Charles witnessed the Japanese officers boarding one of the ships in the harbor to sign the surrender papers for the Marshall Islands. Returning to Canton, Charles served as a mail carrier, assisted the highway department and was also a night patrol officer. Under the GI Bill of Rights, he trained and worked in management for Huntting Elevator in Canton before being transferred to Lyle in 1950 to manage the Huntting Elevator there. He retired from Huntting in 1987. 
Charles married Carol Mae Oleson on April 30, 1950, in Dell Rapids, S.D. The couple lived in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Austin before moving to Lyle, where Charles and Carol raised their three children, Tom, Ted and Paula. Charles was actively engaged in many government jobs, always serving to better his community. He was a charter member of the Lyle Lions Club, treasurer of and served for the Lyle Fire Department and chaired Lyle’s Centennial celebration in 1970 as mayor of Lyle. Charles served 16 years as mayor, chaired the Lyle Economic Development Committee and served as commissioner for the Mower County Housing and Redevelopment Committee until retirement in 2008. Charles participated in track and football in high school. He golfed most of his life and introduced the game to several of his grandsons. After retiring, he took up bowling, but singing was always his first love. While serving his country in the Navy, he auditioned and sang with the Great Lakes Naval Choir. Following the war, he sang with the Gregg Chorus in Canton, and upon moving to Minnesota, he began his singing career as part of the Dahl Quartet, which performed in the Lyle/Austin area. Charles sang with the Austin Male Chorus for 10 years and directed the choir at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lyle for almost 50 years. He often sang solos for weddings, funerals, and church events.
Charles is survived by his wife, Carol of Lyle; son, Ted (Pat) Ekle of Springfield, Ill.; daughter, Paula (David) Johnson of Reedsville, Wis.; daughter-in-law, Jeanne Ekle of Colorado Springs, Colo.; sister, Florence (Kenneth) Albert of Sioux Falls, S.D.; brother-in-law, Dr. James (Carol) Oleson of Chapel Hill, N.C.; sister-in-law, Mary (Charles) Erickson of Anoka; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren. 
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Ollie Ekle; a son, Thomas Charles Ekle; one brother, Arnie Ekle; four sisters, Ardes Groon, Angie Dolezal, Charlotte Monrad and Zona McCormick; five brothers-in-law, Herb Groon, Howard Dolezal, Donald Monrad, Bud McCormick and Kenneth Albert.
The funeral service will be at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lyle at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 17, 2010. Pastor Barb Finley-Shea will officiate. Visitation will be held at Worlein Funeral Home from 4 to 6 p.m., Friday. 
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at
Arrangements are by Worlein Funeral Home.

Email newsletter signup