Jane Ecklund

Beautiful wife, faithful mother, awesome “Grammy” and greatest aunt, Jane Fay Ecklund, age 85, of Jefferson, passed from this life to join her husband in heaven on March 23.

Jane was born on Feb. 20, 1930, in Atlanta, Ga., to Louis E. “Tex” and Mildred Foster Fay. She was one of four children including Louis III, Susan, and Dolores Fay.  She lived in Roswell, N.M., until moving to Carroll, in her teen years. When Jane turned 15, the Fay family moved to Jefferson.

Jane graduated from Jefferson High School in 1947 at age 17.  She then attended Cottey College in Nevada, Miss., for a year before marrying her beloved husband, Bill Ecklund, on June 20, 1948.  They had 65 wonderful years together before he preceded her in death in December of 2013. They were blessed with three children, David, Donna, and Douglas and also AFS son, Willy Tomboy, from Belgium.

Jane was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving faithfully in the Ladies’ Aid and as a Sunday school teacher and summer Bible school teacher. She was so proud when her granddaughter, Sarah Nazar, attended Rhema Bible Training Center in Oklahoma and became a missionary to Argentina and Honduras.

Jane was famous throughout Greene County for her abilities as a seamstress. She did alterations for the women’s clothing stores in Jefferson for years. She was able to create, design, embroider, alter, and never had a request or project that she could not complete successfully including designing an evening gown for Miss Iowa. High school girls and their mothers found their way to Jane’s door every prom season to have their beautiful dresses altered to fit perfectly.

Jane was a skilled bridge player, participating in women’s bridge clubs, couple’s card clubs, and duplicate bridge.  She was all about “winning with Mim” and teaching others to play her favorite game.  She continued to play with her husband and other bridge enthusiasts even when she lived in Long Term Care.

A love for politics kept Jane involved locally, statewide, and nationally for many years.  Her biggest honor was being elected as the state president of Republican Women in 1990-91. This gave her the opportunity to attend national board meetings as well as district meetings in clubs throughout Iowa’s six Congressional districts. Other highlights of her political career included being one of two Iowa representatives on the National Women for Reagan-Bush in 1984. She also attended the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan with her husband and youngest son, Douglas, in Washington D. C.  Jane was thrilled to host Barbara Bush at the public library in Jefferson. She was a great supporter of Governor Robert Ray and Governor Terry Branstad.

Governor Branstad appointed Jane to the Health Facilities Council on which she served for several years.  She felt privileged to be part of the decision making process when health facilities desired to expand in the state and grow their services.  She also was appointed to the state Board of Optometry Examiners, serving  from 1992 to 2001.

Most of all, Jane served and loved her family. One of her greatest joys was having AFS son, Willy Tomboy, from Belgium live with her family for a year in 1968. She continued to keep in contact with Willy, seeing him last in the fall of 2013.  She was a constant source of support to her extended family and communicated regularly with all. She emphasized the importance of treating others as you would like to be treated, using good judgement, and doing the right thing in every situation.

Jane is survived by her sisters, Susan Fay McGinn of Annapolis, MD, and Dolores (Ron) Rife of Lone Tree, IA, son, David (Kathleen) Ecklund of Vonore, TN, daughter, Donna (Bill) Sutton of Jefferson, son, Douglas (Mitzi) Ecklund of Clive, and AFS son, Willy Tomboy of Belgium.  Grandchildren include Ryan (Heather) Ecklund of Jefferson, Sarah (Edward) Nazar of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Zachary Sutton of Des Moines, and Natalie Ecklund and William Ecklund of Clive. Great-grandchildren include Owen, Arabella, Joseph and David Ecklund, and Elizabeth Nazar.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William J. Ecklund, father and mother, Louis E. “Tex” and Mildred Fay, and her brother, Louis Fay III.

Service of Remembrance was held March 28, 10:00 a.m. at Abundant Life Ministries, Jefferson. Interment is at Jefferson Cemetery.

Slininger-Rossow Funeral Home, www.sliningerrossowfuneralhome.com, 515-386-2171.   

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