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Ione Ekblad

Ione Ekblad

Ione (Carlson) Ekblad, age 97, of Willmar, died Monday, July 9, in Bethesda Grand Nursing Home in Willmar.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at First Covenant Church in Willmar with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Cloverleaf Cemetery in Willmar. Arrangements by Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar, www.petersonbrothers.com.

Ione was born July 31, 1920 in Little Falls, Minnesota, the daughter of Fred and Marie (Gudmundsen) Carlson, along with her sisters Inez and Irene. In these days, it was unique to have three surviving triplets. She grew up in the Willmar area and graduated from Willmar High School in 1939. During World War II, Ione joined her sister Inez in California and they were part of the "Rosie the Riveter" movement of women working in factories. They specialized in riveting wings on airplanes.

On July 31, 1943, Ione was married to Elmond Ekblad during his furlough home from the Army. While living in Willmar, they raised three daughters: Connie, Wendy and LeeAnn. Ione was involved in the First Covenant Church in Willmar as a Sunday School Superintendent and Deaconess. She was a very creative crafter and enjoyed making gifts for her family and friends. Elmond and Ione celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary in July 2014 before Elmond passed away in January 2015.

Ione is survived by her three daughters: Connie (and Mike) O'Brien of Brainerd, Wendy (and Evan) Sorvik of Moose Lake, and LeeAnn (and Deane) Neal of Murdock; five grandchildren: Kevin (and Linda) O'Brien of Colby, WI, Colin (and Karla) O'Brien of Shakopee, Kathryn (and David) Haase of Murdock, Kim (and Jordan) Fischer of Shakopee, and Jon (and Katie) Neal of Roseville; and nine great-grandchildren: Bailey & Morgan O'Brien, Sophie, Freddy & Zeke Haase, Deacon & Julianna Fischer, and Trevor & Eli Neal.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Elmond; five sisters: Ruth Edmond, Hazelle Bergsten, Alice Berglund, Inez Oslund, and Irene Nelson; and three brothers: Floyd Carlson, Donald Carlson, and Eldie Carlson.

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