Galveston – Oscar Thomas Ekelund, Jr, age 81, passed away Friday, November 4, 2011 at John Sealy Hospital. He was born on September 17, 1930 in Galveston, Texas.
He was a proud fifth generation native Galvestonian. He attended Rosenberg Elementary, Stephen F. Austin Junior High and Galveston Ball High School. He grew up working at Graugnard’s Bakery, starting at the age of five, folding boxes. He worked his way up to become a master baker and cake decorator. He was drafted into the United States Army serving with the 862, assigned to the Air Force base in Bitburg, Germany. After returning from the Army, he began his long career in law enforcement, starting with Galveston Police Department on October 23, 1953. During this career he served as a beat cop, patrolman, detective/juvenile officer and retired while serving in the administrative division. He served as head of security for Moody Gardens. Next he joined the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office serving in the Warrant Division. At the creation of the 405th District Court, he became the bailiff for Judge Wayne Mallia. He retired February 28, 2009.
He was a lifelong member of First Evangelical German Lutheran Church. He served as an usher, original Oktoberfest organizer, vestry member and was named pillar of the church in 2008. He was twice a delegate to the Church Wide Assembly.
He was a member of Tucker Lodge #297, AF and AM, Scottish Rite 32nd Degree KCCH, and El Mina Shrine. As a Shriner he served on the entertainment committee, director’s staff, chaplain and was a member of the Model T’s. He was a member of the Advisory Board for Galveston Assembly #9 IORG and received the Grand Cross of Color.
He served on the Board of West Isle Little League and Ball High Booster Clubs. He received the rank of Honorary Colonel for the Ball High Jr. ROTC. The 1967 Purple Quill was dedicated to him.
He served on the Board of the Galveston Municipal Police Association the year they hosted the state wide convention for TMPA, was named the juvenile advisor to the Adult Board of the Treasure Island Teen Club, served on the Coastal Community Federal Credit Union for over 10 years.
He received several awards in his lifetime, which include: The Liberty Bell Award on a state and local level, the 16th Annual Rabbi Henry Cohen Humanitarian Award, the 1982 Blue Knight Award by the Strand Merchant Association and the Yellow Rose Award.
He was named an Admiral in the Texas Navy by the Governor and honored by the Galveston Jay Cees for his service to the organization and the Annual Christmas Parade which it sponsored.
He was avid fan of the Ball High Tors, The Oconnell Bucs and the Dallas Cowboys.
He was preceded in death by his only son, Charles Erick Ekelund; grandparents that raised him, John and Dora Ekelund; mother Lois Keeseman; father Oscar Ekelund, Sr.; sister and brother in-law, Dora and T.R. Boysen; brother-in-law Robert Earl Klyng; nephew Karl Boysen; niece Joan Klyng Lowe; and god child Terri Stevens Finn.
He is survived by his wife of 55 ½ years, Joyce Anita Klyng Ekelund; daughters Barbara Anita Ekelund Sanderson and husband Robert, Jr., Mary Lois Ekelund Gillane and husband Jimmie; grandsons Robert Lee Sanderson, III, Christopher Michael Sanderson, Joseph Anthony Gillane and Daniel Erick Gillane; cousins Dr. R.B. Ekelund, Dr. Mark Thornton, John E. Ekelund and wife Marianna, LaNell Hagermeier and husband Harold and GuyDell McCabe; nephews Robert O. Boysen, Sr. and wife Theresa; John E. Boysen, Sr. and wife Shereen, Robert E. Klyng and wife Anne, Michael, Dennis and Clifford Klyng; niece Nancy Klyng McGuire; sister-in-law Bernice Klyng; brother-in-law William Klyng and wife Sybil; godchildren Robert Oscar Boysen, Sr., Andrew Rourke, Alex and Jack Ekelund; numerous great nieces and great nephews. He is also survived by numerous dear friends including Eddie Barr, Raymond Rubio, Annie Mae Charles, Shlomo Hamo, Martha and Jim Holcomb, Judge Wayne and Sherry Mallia and family and the 405th District Court Family, and the extended Walker and Schultz families.
Visitation will be held at The Lyceum (the Old Church) 2401 Winnie, on Monday, November 7, 2011 from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., with a Masonic Service to be held at 7:30 P.M. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 10:00 A.M. at First Evangelical German Lutheran Church, 2415 Winnie, with Reverend Douglas Guthier officiating, assisted by Reverend Joseph Summerville. Interment will follow at Oleander Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Robert Lee Sanderson, III, Christopher Michael Sanderson, Joseph Anthony Gillane, Daniel Erick Gillane, Freddie Poor, Bill Scott and Andrew Rourke.
Honorary pallbearers will be Galveston Police Officers, retired Galveston Police Officers, Galveston County Sheriff’s Deputies, retired Galveston County Sheriff’s Deputies, Jamaica Beach Police Department, the Galveston Fire Department and the El Mina Shrine Model T’s; Robert O. Boysen, Sr, John E. Boysen, Sr. and Raymond Rubio.
The family wishes to express their thanks to Dr. Robert Beach and staff, Nurse Tammy Manes, John Sealy Emergency room doctors and nurses, Galveston Police, Fire and EMS and the Galveston County Sheriff’s office.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Lutheran Church, 2415 Winnie, Galveston, Texas 77550.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to D.J. Termini and J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home.