Niels E. Eskildsen, 88
Funeral Services for Niels E. Eskildsen, 88, of Bull Shoals, Arkansas will be 10AM Saturday, October 12, 2013, at the Bull Shoals United Methodist Church with Reverend Donny Hudson officiating. Visitation will be from 4-7PM Friday October 11, 2011, at Kirby & Family Funeral Home in Bull Shoals; AR. Niels passed away Saturday, October 5, 2013.
Niels was born January 4, 1925, at Reddick, IL to Boi and Mary Eskildsen. He lost the love of his life and wife of 65 years, Betty Grinstead Eskildsen two years ago. Niels was a WWII Veteran of the Army Air Corps. He was one of two remaining crewmembers, a tail gunner on the B-29, Jack's Hack, which sits, restored in Hartford, Connecticut. He owned a family business, Minneapolis Moline Farm and Auto Sales, selling farm machinery and AMC cars before working as a lift truck mechanic for R&R Donnelly in Dwight, IL. Niels was always dedicated to his community and served decades as the Fire Chief and EMT for the Reddick Volunteer Fire Department. After moving to Bull Shoals 28 years ago, he was a member of the Lion's Club, Bull Shoals Fire Department, Bull Shoals Police Auxiliary, 32nd Degree Mason, Hoevel-Barnett VFW, served on city council for ten years, worked as volunteer greeter for the Bull Shoals Theater, and volunteered as janitor for the Bull Shoals Food Pantry. Niels was instrumental in getting several fire trucks and equipment for Bull Shoals and many other area fire departments. Many a child received a bicycle on Christmas morning due to Neils', "The Bicycle Man" tireless efforts to restore donated bicycles for the Christmas Wish program. He was a member of the Bull Shoals United Methodist Church.
Niels is survived by; daughter, Lynn Nickels (Marty) of Bull Shoals, AR; son, David Eskildsen (Karen) of Littlestown, PA; five grandchildren, Jeff Gardner (Donna) Carrie Marry (Bill), Jill Eskildsen, Kim Parks, and Michael Nickels (Kara); twelve great-grandchildren; two great great-grandchildren; a number of nieces and nephews; remaining crew member and life long friend, Henry Chodacki (Lea) of Mountain Home, AR and canine companion, Gracie.
His parents, two sisters, wife, and daughter, Sandy Gilbert, preceded him in death.
Entombment is private at Kirby's Tucker Memorial Mausoleum.
Memorials may be made to the Bull Shoals Food Pantry, Christmas Wish or Hospice House of the Ozarks.
Arrangements by Kirby & Family Funeral & Cremation Services. Please visit our online obituary/ guestbook at kirbyandfamily.com
Published in Baxter Bulletin from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, 2013