Mabel Ekstrom

Mabel Agnes (Timmel) Ekstrom, 101, Kenmare, departed this life on earth at the Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital to meet her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, June 15, 2014.

Mabel was born Aug. 9, 1912, to George F. and Lulu A. (Morgan) Timmel who had left their home in Oconomowoc, Wis., to homestead in Mountrail County prior to her birth. Her mother, Lulu, returned to Oconomowoc by train for the delivery of her baby girl Mabel. Mabel could be often found at her coalminer father’s side, helping with their large garden, selling the produce or even spearfishing in the nearby Missouri River. She attended a country grade school, then ninth grade at the Huffland School before attending White Earth High School while working for her board and room. She moved to Stanley in 1935 and lived there for six years, working at various jobs. On Sept. 21, 1941, Mabel married Arthur Ekstrom of the Niobe area. Her new large extended Ekstrom family (one brother-in-law and eight sister-in-laws and spouses) was wonderful following the recent deaths of both of her parents and only sister Edith. The newlyweds made their home in Niobe until 1944 before buying their own farm in Bowbells Township where they raised their three children, Merlin, Joyce and Richard “Dick.” In 1991 they moved to Kenmare. From 1975 to 1990 they enjoyed many friends while wintering in Apache Junction, Ariz. In 2006 Mabel moved to the Kenmare Baptist Home. The Kenmare Community Hospital Care Center served as Mabel’s home for the final three years of her life.

As a member of the Niobe Baptist Church and later the Kenmare First Baptist Church, Mabel faithfully served, especially in the Sunday school and Ladies’ aid. More recently she attended the Kenmare Nazarene Church.

Mabel enjoyed her life as a “farmer’s wife,” mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was known for creating beauty in her flower gardens and won many flower arranging awards as a member of the Gro-Bells of Bowbells. Other hobbies included ceramics, crocheting, embroidering, oil painting and reading. She enjoyed traveling and loved to go fishing. Mabel’s many friends and family were the recipients of her gracious hospitality. Unpretentious, servant’s heart, lover of God’s creation, quiet spirit, industrious and trustworthy are words that described her well. She will be greatly missed!

She is survived by: her children, Merlin (Ireta), Mount Pleasant, Mich., Joyce (Ronald) Swanson, Shawnee, Kan., and Richard (Mary) Ekstrom, Vermillion, S.D.; seven grandchildren, Lee (Heather) Ekstrom, Tamela (Evan) Ekstrom-Derian, Nathan Swanson, Daniel (Allison) Swanson, Michael Swanson, Rachel (Scott) Hillestad and Samuel Ekstrom; 10 great-grandchildren; and 32 nieces and nephews.

After 65 years of marriage her husband Arthur preceded her in death on March 20, 2007. She was also preceded in death by her parents; sister, Edith (Timmel) Thorson; 18 brother- and sister- in-laws; and many nieces and nephews.

The family extends special thanks to the staff at the Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital for their outstanding support and loving care during Mabel’s residency there.

It is suggested that memorials be sent to: Child Evangelism Fellowship of ND, 8894 County Rd 12, Bowbells, ND 58721 or the Kenmare Community Hospital, PO Box 697, designated for the “Residents Van Fund.”

Funeral: Thursday, June 19, at 1 p.m. at the Kenmare Church of the Nazarene, Kenmare.

Interment: Lakeview Cemetery, Kenmare.

Visitation: Today, Wednesday, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Kenmare.

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