Obituary for Merrill J. Ekstrom

Merrill John Ekstrom, age 82, of Chaska, died on Saturday, September 10, 2022 at Ridgeview Two Twelve Medical Center, Chaska with his loving family at his side.

A visitation will be held on Monday September 19 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Chaska Moravian Church. Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service at the Chaska Moravian Church, 115 East Fourth Street, Chaska, with Pastor Charlie McDonald officiating. Pall bears will be his grandchildren. The burial will be at the Moravian Cemetery, Chaska. Following the burial there will be a Celebration of Life Luncheon for Merrill and Shirley with a time to share memories of both Merrill and Shirley after lunch.

Memorials preferred to the Chaska Moravian Cemetery Board.

Merrill was born on January 4, 1940 in Shakopee, to Walter and Edna (Frank) Ekstrom, the youngest of seven children. He was a lifetime resident of Chaska. On July 2, 1960 he married Shirley Hoen at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Young America. They had three children. In 1964 Merrill and Shirley moved the family to the farm where Merrill was raised and began their life on the farm. Merrill worked for American Crystal Sugar until it closed in 1971. He then worked for the Hennepin County Parks Reserve until becoming a insurance agent for Farm Bureau in 1974. Merrill was a top salesman for Farm Bureau winning numerous awards and trips throughout his career with FB. He retired in 1990 and spent his remaining years farming with his wife Shirley. Merrill served on many boards though out his life. Supervisor on the Chaska Township for 33 years from 1968 2001, member of the L & R Committee at the state level, and also a board member of Auburn Homes and Service for many years. Merrill was a lifetime member of the Chaska Moravian Church, serving on church boards as a Trustee, Elder, and cemetery board. He also was a Sunday School teacher. Merrill enjoyed sing in the church choir along with his wife Shirley. His lifetime passion though was farming. Merrill loved his farm. Every morning he would drive his bobcat truck around his farm checking everything over and would also make a trip to the cemetery to look things over there as well. He had a love of fishing for sunnies both in summer and winter. Merrill’s greatest love though was for his family. He was so proud of his family and loved spending time with them all. He enjoyed playing cards (500 or solitaire), watching the Gophers and Vikings play football, Gopher basketball, watching his grand kids play sports when they were in school, gardening, watching and feeding the wild life on his farm, history, going for drives and enjoying a big bowl of ice cream.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley (2021), his parents, great grandson, Jaxon Ostman, and siblings, Bernice and Charles Barris, Warren and Diane Ekstrom, Eunice and Louis Nichols. Florence and Bill Halquist, and his beloved Dog Johnny who we are sure was waiting with an ice cream lid in his mouth.

Survivors include his children, Pam (Don) Ostman of Chaska, Barb (Chuck) Schoenrock of Prior Lake, Jeff (Tamara) Ekstrom of Norwood Young America; grandchildren, Dave (Jordan) Ostman, Josh (Palee) Ostman, Brad (Jackie) Schoenrock, Sandy Schoenrock (fiancée, Todd McIntosh), Cody Ekstrom and Casey Ekstrom; great granddaughters, Carly, Haley, and Raven McIntosh, Hailey Ostman; siblings, Francis (Jolene) Ekstrom, Floyd (Pat) Ekstrom,; special cousin, Esther Waltenburg; other relatives and friends.

Funeral arrangements are with the

Bertas Funeral Home of Chaska.

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