Karl Anders Herman Eklund was born in Axtel, KS, on December 18, 1935, in the church parsonage, to Rev. K. Bertil and Lois Eklund. He graduated from Deer River High School in Minnesota in 1953. He attended North Park Junior College in Chicago, and then enlisted in the United States Army in 1955. He spent most of his active duty assignment as a surgical technician in Neubrucke, Germany. While overseas, he had the joy of meeting his "Swedish family", and spent most of his leave with them. He returned to Chicago and attended Northwestern University, graduating in 1958.
He met Betty Lundquist in 1958 in Chicago, and they were married in March, 1960. Karl and Betty moved to New Jersey, where he taught Math and Science at Montclair High School. There they were joined by two children, Stephanie and Steve. Karl developed an interest in the new field of computers, and they moved to Liverpool, NY, in 1967, where he worked at General Electric, Crouse Hinds, and Honeywell. In 1980, he transferred to Phoenix, AZ, where Karl helped establish the Honeywell-Bull Technical Assistance Center, where he often repeated his favorite line- "Is the computer plugged in?"
Karl received his Masters degree in Adult Education, and after he retired from Honeywell he worked for the Maricopa County Superior Court, developing the Child Support Program. He was an active member of Gideon's International, distributing countless Bibles and New Testaments to hotels, schools, and hospitals. He served on multiple church boards in New York and Arizona.
Karl was fascinated by space, and volunteered at the Challenger Space Center in Peoria, AZ, as a "Flight Director" for simulations and a tour guide for many years. His grandchildren loved to be his "assistants" on his public missions.
He and Betty moved to Glencroft Independent Living in June, 2019. They faced many health challenges together, which Karl met with his typical (quirky) sense of humor and resilience. He was a good husband, a good father, and a good provider for his family. He loved God's word, especially John 3:17- "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."
Karl died at home, with his family at his side, on November 15, 2020. We would like to thank Hospice of the West for helping us to care for him at home, as was his wish. He is survived by his "beautiful, beloved Betty", his children Stephanie (Bruce), from Eagle River, AK, and Steve, from Hampton, VA, his sisters Sylvia (Jim) Martins, Karen (Craig) Vote, Marge (Les) Eldeen, brother John (Liz), four special grandchildren, many first cousins in Sweden, numerous nieces and nephews, and countless friends.
There will be a private committal service at the National Military Cemetery next week. A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date. Arrangements are with Surprise Funeral Home in Surprise, AZ.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, 2020.