Leo Henry Ekeler was born to Frank Ekeler and Anna Barkmeier Ekeler on April 11, 1918 at Exeter and passed away Nov. 11, 2010 at Bryan LGH West Hospital in Lincoln at the ago of 92 years and seven months. He was one of ten boys in the family.
Growing up on the family farm outside Exeter, Leo attended school and graduated from Exeter High in 1936. He continued on the family farm until 1947 when he fell in love with and married Dorothy Ann Harre, also of Exeter.
After marriage, Leo and Dorothy moved to their own farmstead and combined the raising of crops and livestock with the raising of four children. Leo was a proud father to his four kids: Marie (Tim) Nicholas of Central City; Sylvia (Rocky) Ruhl of Wayne; Paul (Jill) Ekeler of Hastings and Glen (Jan) Ekeler of Creston, Iowa. Eight grandchildren came along to join the family: Matt and Angie Nicholas; Regan and Reggie Ruhl; Jason and Danielle Ekeler and Courtney and Chelsea Ekeler. One great-grandchild, Alizay Grazvitt, was the most recent addition.
Leo retired from farming in 1984 and he and Dorothy moved into Exeter where they lived in the same house across the street from the post office until his death. During his time on the farm, Leo sold Funk's seed corn and also worked for ten years for the ASCS office in Geneva.
Leo was a lifelong member of St. Stephen's Catholic Church of Exeter, and never lost his love of farming. Up until the weekend before his death, Leo was still seen on the gravel roads around town, checking on the progress of the harvest and making sure everything was where it needed to be.
Leo enjoyed sports of all sorts, but held special loyalty to the Exeter high school sports teams, the University of Nebraska football team and his beloved New York Yankees. He also was a frequent visitor for morning coffee at the local round table at Sweetewater and had been known to play a game of cards or two, provided there wasn't a Nebraska football game or a Yankee game on television.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents and nine brothers: Frank, John, Henry, Joe, August, twin brothers Lewis (Doc) and William (Bunk), Fred and Alfred.
He is survived by his wife and the love of his life, Dorothy, who currently resides at the Exeter Care Center and his children and grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Saturday morning at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Exeter, with the Rev. Tom Kuffel officiating.
Pallbearers were Tom Ekeler, Dan Ekeler, Jerome Ekeler, Jason Ekeler, Matthew Nicholas and Reggie Ruhl. Acolyte for the service was Rusty Ruhl and music was provided by Agnes Anderson, organist and Jessica Ruhl, vocalist.
Interment in the Exeter Cemetery followed the service, with Farmer's Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Memorials are directed to the family.