Ivan Eckstrom, age 86, of Renville, MN and Branson MO, passed away at home on March 24, 2023, following a long illness. A funeral service will be held at First Lutheran Church in Renville, MN on Saturday, May 20th with visitation starting at 10:00 and service at 11:00. Ivan was born on April 24, 1936, to Carl and Cora Eckstrom in St. James, MN. He was raised on a farm in rural Butterfield, MN with his three brothers. He loved to tell stories of his life on the farm and often referred back to the lessons he learned there. He attended Butterfield Public School and joined the Minnesota National Guard at age 17. He married Joann Elaine Mossengren on February 12, 1955. He farmed for a year and then attended Mankato State University where he graduated with a degree in education. He started his teaching career in Truman MN and then went on to be principal at Rapidan, MN and Sanborn, MN. While in Sanborn, he was offered the position of Superintendent. He and his family then moved on to Renville, MN where he was superintendent of schools for 25 years. He led the pairing of 4 schools into what is now Renville County West. He retired in 1996. According to Ivan, “The desire to be a farmer was never extinguished, but his second career choice was a good one.” Ivan retired from the National Guard in 1989 after 35 years of service, ultimately achieving the rank of Colonel.
Ivan enjoyed time at the family lake home on Big Kandiyohi Lake, antiquing, traveling, playing cards and family time. He was known to break out in song at the drop of a hat.
He is survived by four children, Mark (Norine), Susan Ledeboer (Joel), Kris Garrison (Curly) and Julie Dikken (Greg) and loving partner Sandra Wynn, Brothers Vance (Clarice), Clinton (Tedde), and Donald (LaVonne) 12 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.