Rolf Alfred Eklund
1936 - 2004
BORN
1936
DIED
2004
Rolf Alfred Eklund, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher and friend, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2004, during heart bypass surgery. He was 67 years old.

Funeral: 10 a.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church, 7900 McCart Avenue, Fort Worth, the Rev. David Anderson and the Rev. Laird Duran officiating. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: The family will receive those who also loved Rolf 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.

Active pallbearers: Eric Bries, Paul Calvin, Charles Eklund, James Johnson, Paul Shuga and Jaret Tilley. Honorary pallbearers: Ray Barto, Jon Bradford, Norval Crabtree, Franklin Earney, Horst Krause, Bob Lopez and Ray Russell.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that expressions of love for Rolf be made to the Rolf Eklund Memorial Scholarship Fund, to provide the opportunity of a college education to needy and deserving students, at the Birdville Independent School District Foundation, 6125 E. Belknap, Haltom City, Texas 76117, Attn: C.A. Sanford.

Rolf Alfred Eklund was born in Kimo, Finland, on Aug. 7, 1936, to Eric Eklund and Katarina Kullman Eklund. The family of five, including Rolf's older brother, Edgar, and little sister, Louise, fled their home in Finland during World War II and sailed to America in May 1942 aboard the MS Gripsholm. The New York Times ran a feature on the Eklund family on the day they arrived in New York City, N.Y., as they were the largest family aboard.

The Eklund family settled in Jersey City, N.J., where Rolf attended school. He earned his bachelor's degree in history at Jersey City State College and also did undergraduate work at Princeton University. Rolf graduated as an United States Air Force cadet in 1956 at Lackland Air Force Base, where he completed his pre-flight training. He then completed navigator training in Harlingen and served in the United States Air Force as a C-141 navigator until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1985.

Rolf earned his master's degree in history from Texas Christian University and completed graduate work at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford Universities.

Rolf married Janelle McNair on June 19, 1959, at Broadway Baptist Church. Rolf and Janelle had two children, Charles and Katherine. Rolf and Janelle were teachers at Richland High School, Birdville Independent School District, for their entire careers. Rolf began teaching at Richland High School in 1965, where he taught advanced placement American history, advanced placement economics, and humanities until his retirement from teaching in 1997. Rolf never really retired, though, as he spent the last few years as a substitute teacher at Fort Worth Country Day School.

Rolf's love of his family was equaled only by his love for the students he taught with great joy for so many years. Learning of his sudden passing, one student remarked that "Mr. Eklund was one of those rare birds who did it right, did it well, and left a bit of himself in each student. I know he left his mark on me, and the older I get the more I appreciate it." Another, writing from the naval carrier on which he serves, said that "He made each student feel important, even if he was calling us 'cloth ears' or giving us 'a zero for the day, sport.' His unique phrases and unforgettable mannerisms made an otherwise dreaded subject something to look forward to for countless thousands of teen-agers, all of whom are grown now, most with kids of their own. So to say his impact is immeasurable is an understatement. He really embodied all that Hollywood would have us believe about teachers, that theirs is a noble profession and that they truly change lives. He did."

Rolf was preceded in death by his mother and father, Katarina and Eric Eklund; his brother, Eric Edgar Eklund; and nephew, Karl Eklund.

Survivors: He leaves behind his beloved wife of nearly 45 years, Janelle McNair Eklund; beloved son, Charles Eklund and daughter-in-law Suzanne, and Suzanne's children, Rachel and Paul; beloved daughter, Katherine Tilley and son-in-law, Jaret, and grandsons, Eric and Rolf Tilley, all of Fort Worth; beloved sister and brother-in-law, Louise Eklund Anderson and the Rev. David Anderson of Lakeville, Minn.; and thousands of friends and former students enriched by his gift of teaching with love and tremendous wit.

Published by Star-Telegram on Jan. 30, 2004.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
MAKE A DONATION
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Sponsored by Janelle, Katie, Jaret, Rolf, Eric, Charlie, Suzanne, Paul & Rachel.
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



86 Entries
Rolf is either roiling and/or guffawing if he read my original entry, below, with its typos. Here's a corrected version:

I only learned of Rolf's passing today, just moments ago, as I was doing a search on his name. My condolences to Janelle & the family. I'm proud & honored to say I was both his student as well as Janelle's. And I loved them both very much. Rolf was a rare breed. Rolf & I were close, though we occasionally disagreed (at least partially). But he and I both loved philosophy, economic and political theory, as so much more. And, whatever our disagreements, he always knew I intellectually adored him. I had intended to (perhaps) visit Rolf. Now I can only honor his memory by saying he was one of the greatest teachers I ever had, and certainly one of the best RHS has ever had. I miss you, Rolf.

Mark C. Phillips
Richland High School
Class of 1976

[Allow me to add that Rolf had several qualities--virtues--that made him such a great teacher, among which were: (1) he always--virtually w/o exception--sprinkled his lecture/discussions with humor, which is to say, his own,often both dry and incisive, wit. But it was rarely (though perhaps occasionally) at the expense of the subject itself (whether a person or a thing or event(s)). (2), he was always careful to provide as much *context* as he could, so that students could really understand & empathize with the persons and/or events of which he spoke, and this was true in both his history classes and in Humanities class, where he and I always enjoyed a good back-&-forth banter.

Rolf would've been a superb college professor, but he loved stimulating both the minds and souls (or 'hearts') of specifically *high-school* students, for he knew that while many might well go on to college or university, some probably wouldn't, and he wanted to give each and every one of 'em as good a grounding as he could in history, and/or the various aspects of culture that were lumped under the umbrella designation of the "Humanities" class that he always loved so very much to teach...

Love you always, Rolf... ;-) ]
May 25, 2013
It still thrills me to read the words of those who had my brother, Rolf Eklund, as a teacher. I always knew he was special, and it is a joy to know he touched so many other lives. But I'll bet he never put worms in your shoes! I have forgiven him for that!
Louise Anderson (his sister)
Louise Anderson
May 24, 2013
I have just learnede the passing of Mr Eklund MY puyears go to his flamily and proudly tell gifted teachers are few as I know both of them 1972-1974. Mr. Ekland well be missed. God bless his flamily. Kay Tyrone Barton.
May 17, 2013
I only learned of Rolf's passing today, just moments ago, as I was doing a search on his name. My condolences to Janelle & the family. I'm proud & honored to say I was both his student as well as Janelle's. And I loved them both very much. Rolf was a rare breed. Rolf & were close, though we occasionally disagreed (at least partially). But he and I both loved philosophy, economic and political theory, as so much more. And, whatever our disagreements, he always new I intellectually adored him. I had intended to (perhaps) visit Rolf. Now I can only honor his memory by saying he was one of the greatest teachers I ever had, and certainly one of the best RHS has ever had. I miss you, Rolf.

Mark C. Phillips
Richland High School
Class of 1976
Mark Phillips
January 28, 2012
While exploring Facebook, I came across the Richland High School In Memoriam page, and thus learned of Mr. Eklund's passing.

Mr. Eklund was a gifted and inspired teacher who touched the lives of thousands, including my own. He will, no doubt, be greatly missed.

Tammy Gilbert
Richland High School
Class of 1996
Tammy Gilbert
April 28, 2010
With deepest sympathy for the family's (and the world's) loss of Mr.Eklund. He was certainly one-of-a-kind. I have brushes with folks who attended RHOS through the decades and if they knew him, they always mention Mr. Eklund. I've often thought of Mr. Eklund through the years and every time I try to describe him to others, I'm unable to fully convey or encapsulate his memory. God bless Mr. and Mrs. Eklund and family.

Randal Bass
Class of '93
January 6, 2010
I grieved at the news of Mr. Eklund's passing. The world truly lost an amazing man that touched the lives of so many. I hope that this guestbook will stay open a long time, as others will surely find their way here and continue to leave testimony of the wonderful man that Mr. Eklund was. He made me love learning, and forever changed my life. I still remember the day about 15 of us students got up early on a Saturday (in pajamas and housecoats) to surprise Mr. Eklund for breakfast at La Madelaine's. My condolences to the Eklund family, the many students that grieved at his passing, and to the many more that never got the opportunity to be changed by this wonderful man.

...oh captain, my captain.
Mark Vaughn
November 19, 2007
Dear Mrs. Eklund and family,

There are only a few teachers that I readily recall, others I must think about for a minute or two to remember well. One is my favorite English teacher who thought well enough of me to recommend me for Honor's Sr. English. Mrs Eklund, I thank you. The other teacher never had me in his class, but he encouraged anyway with his humor and humility. Everyone received something good from Mr. Eklund. Today, despite the passage of time... and my cluelessess, I want to send my condolences. Anything that touches Mrs. Eklund, touches me as well. For I hold you and Mr. Eklund in highest regard, and follow your lead as I teach students in my English classes at Timberview High School, Mansfield ISD

Sincerely,
Karen Shafer-Anthony
July 23, 2005
A Google search this morning -- on a seemingly unrelated topic -- brought the sad news of Mr. Eklund's passing. I can't even begin to express how much I appreciate and admire Mr. Eklund. Better to just say that he was the best kind of teacher -- one whose words and deeds linger long after I finished his class. I'll always be thankful for our phone conversations through the years. I wish now that there had been more of them.
Craig Lancaster
April 16, 2005
It is never too late to sing the praises of a great teacher, and a great American. Mr. Eklund taught so much more than history. He prepared us for college, and for life. He opened our minds and hearts. As a teacher, I have missed the chance to tell him in person how much he means to me. I can only aspire to touch the lives of my students a fraction of what Mr. Eklund did for me. He was a model teacher, American, and man.
Stacey Floyd-Goodman
March 11, 2005
TO THE FAMILY OF MR. EKLUND
HE WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL TEACHER, AS WAS IS WIFE ALSO. I HAD THE PRIVLEDGE OF HAVING BOTH OF YOU FOR A TEACHER. IT'S JUST ASHAME THERE AREN'T MORE TEACHERS LIKE YOU. MRS. EKLUND, THANK YOU FOR SHARING SUCH A WONDERFUL MAN TO TEACH SO MANY STUDENTS. HE HAS LEFT A LASTING IMPACT. THE OBITUARY SAYS IT ALL. GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY.
CLASS OF 1977
ROBBIE LAYMANCE (GRIFFITH)
August 17, 2004
Wow, I had no idea that Mr. Eklund had passed. My deepest condolences go out to his family. I was so shocked when I read about this that I am at a complete loss for words. The entries that fall before mine state that Mr. Eklund had a sincere impact on their lives and mine is no different. Going to his class everyday was more of a treat than anything else. He was an amazing teacher and will be sorely missed.

Daun Harner
Richland High Our School
Class of 1995
Elizabeth (Daun) Harner RHOS
August 3, 2004
It's pretty hard to come up with something to say about Mr. Eklund when there are SO MANY PEOPLE who have already said it.

When the first year in his class ended, I liked Mr. Eklund so much I asked if I could be his teacher's assistant my senior year, just because I knew I could hang out with him after school, and all of my friends liked it too, b/c they could come by and visit with me and still get cracked up by Mr. Eklund. The man was a pleasure to be around.

As a teacher, i could not think of one student who did not enjoy his class, no matter how thorough and demanding it was. As a teacher, he was a consummate professional, a mentor, AND A COMEDIAN.

i also have to say that i enjoyed the funeral. I learned that Mr. Eklund's daughter who did a beautifully heart-warming and poignant eulogy was as quick-witted as rolf.

I, myself, have only recently decided to start teaching again. Mr. Eklund's passing reminded me of what kind of effect a good teacher and a good man can have on the world...and it's been said before, but i'll say it again, he will be sorely missed.
Brian McMahon
July 21, 2004
Mrs. Eklund and Family,

I just learned of Mr. Eklund's death today. Please know that I was extremely influenced by his teaching as I have taught U.S. history for 18 years now. I last saw Mr. Eklund in the mid or late 1980s at an A.P. conference. By the way, I substituted at Richland H.S. for a few months and Mr. Eklund was so excited for me when I learned that I gained a teaching position at Grapevine H.S. in October of 1983. He hung on my every word when I described what my classroom looked like. At first, I felt rather foolish telling him about the carpet, chalkboard etc., but then I sensed that he really cared and he was moved by youthful enthusiasm. Currently, I am the Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher at The Woodlands High School and my husband is an Associate Professor at Sam Houston State University in
Huntsville.

I want the Eklund family to know that I was a sad teenager when I moved from Indiana to Texas in 1976. Richland High School was never "my cup of tea." Nevertheless, Mr. Eklund made me smile. Today, I salute my students and tell them to be "Good Americans." Students tell me that I'm so funny when I do that, and once in awhile I admit that I ripped that off from Mr. Eklund my old U.S. history teacher.

Also, I loved when Mr. Eklund showed architectural slides and he would sneak one in of himself--a little Finnish boy slide--hilarious--what a fabulous teacher you were Mr. Eklund!

Sincerely,
Peggy Mullarkey-Cashion
Peggy Mullarkey-Cashion
June 9, 2004
Dear Eklund Family,
I had only recently learned of Mr. Eklund’s passing and was very sadden to hear about it. As I thought about Mr. Eklund all of these wonderful memories came flooding back from when I had him the last year he taught AP economics at Richland. I can always remember how much I looked forward everyday to his class and know that all of my friends who had him also look forward to it everyday. He just made class so much fun that I loved learning about what he was teaching. I can still remember all of those fun catch phrases that he would use everyday. We loved it so much that we made a t-shirt out of all of his sayings. That is one of my favorite t-shirts from high school. I just wanted to let all of you know how much I loved his class and how much I enjoyed him as a teacher. I know that his legacy lives on with all of his students that he has touched in such a big way. I know how very special he was to all of us at Richland. A teacher and person like him is a rare find indeed.
Mandy Dossey
May 27, 2004
It was so nice to read the latest guest book entry about Rolf Eklund. Those in his classes learned a lot from him. He was my brother, and I learned a lot from him. But I never had the heart to tell him he was wrong about one minor point: he thought the South had won the Civil War.
Louise Anderson
May 5, 2004
I had Rolf Eklund for history in 1989 at RHS. He was such a witty, refreshingly offbeat teacher. One never knew what he would say to keep us awake and interested.

One example: "...because I've been wrong before. For instance, I once said Albany was the capital of New York. What? Oh, it is? Well, I guess I haven't been wrong."

He was a credit to his profession, and I won't forget him. My condolences to his family.
John Bell
May 4, 2004
My deepest sympathies to the entire Eklund family. Mr. Eklund was an inspiration to many of the students whose lives he touched directly, and indirectly, as did Mrs. Eklund. He will be missed.
Jeff Eubank
March 15, 2004
My deepest sympathy to all the Eklund family.
I am remiss in not signing this guestbook sooner. I learned of Mr. Eklund's death the night of his funeral. I wish I had known sooner. I would have been there, because I cared.
What an inspirational teacher. If one cared about his class, he cared about you. Notecards for a major exam? What an innovative idea. If one took the time to prepare a good notecard, chances are you didn't need it for the test. Make an A one six weeks? Great, you didn't have to do the chapter work the next six weeks. But, could you still make an A? He taught us to care about history, humanities, the world around us, and him. And he cared back.
I took his first humanities class in 1969. It was a full year class and I was to graduate at midterm. I took it for a grade but no credit because I wanted to take his class. After I graduated and went straight to U.T. in Austin, he wrote me funny letters-Catch 22 style-he knew I was reading that book at the time. Because he cared.
He and his daughter attended my wedding-in 1972-at the Botanical Gardens-at sunrise, no less, because he cared.
When I e-mailed him this past summer, he remembered I had been raised in the Lutheran Church, because he cared.
We remember because we care. Just like in his classes.
With all the turmoil in the world today, isn't it nice to know someone cares? That was the most important lesson he taught me.
Mr. Eklund's family's loss is our loss also.
I always expected to see him again.
Donna Tice Meridith
February 29, 2004
Janelle, Charles and Katie,

We continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers. We have great memories of Uncle Rolf! We have enjoyed reading the many kind words and memories shared by his former students. He touched so many lives. We pray that you are finding comfort in this time of loss.
Daurine (Anderson) Petersen
February 28, 2004
Mr.Eklund lived life in the same manner that he taught his students: with passion and compassion. A man of great wisdom, he believed in what he did and his students knew it. He gave them a thirst for more. Definitely a genuine person with tremendous moral character, a role model for life. I am glad that I had a chance to work with him at Richland High School as my life has been enriched by knowing him.
Suzy Compton
February 27, 2004
I was truly blessed to have known Mr. Eklund and to have had him as my teacher. I think of him often. My deepest sympathies go out to your family. Know that he was loved and will be greatly missed.

Carrie Anderson
Class of '96
Carrie Anderson
February 24, 2004
Dear Eklund's

On behalf of myself and my brothers our deepest sympathies. The world has suffered the loss of a great man, who taught generations to love and respect history, life, and learning. He will never be forgotten.

Your personality will warm us always,


Rose M. Haisler (Dowling) '91
Patrick Dowling '89
Stephen Dowling '96
Rose Haisler
February 20, 2004
Just the name Mr. Eklund brings a smile to my face and brings back many fond memories. He made Humanities class! I can still see him strutting across the front of the classroom as an Egyptian. He was the first King Tut.
My condolances to all his loved ones.
Diane (Chilcoat) Ganim
February 20, 2004
Tears and laughter come to us as we read many of the guest book entries. Thanks to all who shared their memories of my brother and the impact he had on their lives. He truly was blessed to be a blessing. Lovisa
Louise and Dave Anderson
February 11, 2004
Mr. Eklund was by far the finest teacher I ever had, bar none. It is 18 years since I took his class and I still tell people of his way of making history fun and his "eklundisms". ("Might Eklund Manor", "Koosh!", "State your crisis") I will never forget my first history course in college when they passed out the reading list and I realized that they were all books that Mr. Eklund had assigned us in AP History. I almost got on a plane to fly back and kiss the man right then. I wish I had, for I don't know if he ever knew in what high esteem I hold him. God bless him and his family.

Christy McDavid Biggs
Class of 1986
Christy Biggs
February 11, 2004
Dear Janelle, Charles & Suzanne & Family, Katy & Jaret (young Eric & Rolf) and Louise & Dave Anderson & Family

My deepest sympathy on the loss of Rolf. May the Lord shower you with peace in your time of need. I will be praying for all of you.

I have wonderful memories of our weekend in Texas, and a wedding in Iowa. Karl & I loved you all.

Rolf was a wonderful man and he will surely be missed.

I can see he touched so many lives. He was loved and will be remembered by many.

What a inspiration for us all.

Love & Hugs
Colleen Eklund
February 10, 2004
dear pop pop rolf i love you .
i miss you . you were a gerate
grand father .love eric .
eric Tilley
February 7, 2004
i love pop pop rolf i hope you feel beter and well i hope you are not haveing hart probloms any more rolf loves you vary mutch
rolf tilley
February 7, 2004
It is a huge loss for our family. It seems that he has been an important person for many people, especially younger ones. It reminds me of my mother Ulla Tarnell (born Kullman). Even though I did not have the fortune to meet him every day he have always been in my mind for many years now. Many of you who have signed this guestbook have noticed his sense of humor. I remember one of the first times I meet him, over here in Stockholm, taken him and rest of the family for a sightseeing and I tries to describe everything in english. After the tour Rolf suddenly begins to speak Swedish...That was hilarious!
The Kullman family in Sweden sends all our best to Eklund´s family. It is a big Kullman reunion in Heaven now.
Anders Tarnell
February 6, 2004
If only I had known Rolf and Janelle
as my favorite teachers from RHOS, I
would have had a pretty good cry upon hearing the news, and then a substantial one down at Grace Lutheran Church last Saturday. Instead, I somehow won the heart of
their daughter Katie, and have spent
the last thirteen years in an incredible bliss. To read all of my
fellow former students' tributes helps drive home the feeling that I am the luckiest guy in the world, to have the honor of being the Eklund's son-in-law. Pop Pop Rolf,
who gave me a zero for the day once,
taught me how important it is to do
right. He lived every moment right.
After the flood of tears gets mopped up, all of us should take on the job of being as much like Rolf as we know how. The world needs it.

Jaret Tilley
Richland High Our School
Class of 1982
Jaret Tilley
February 6, 2004
Wayne Markison
February 5, 2004
Although I was unable to spend a lot of time with Uncle Rolf, I will never forget his humor and love of family. Mom has told me numerous stories about Rolf as a young man--a protective, older brother. I was fortunate enough to have an "online relationship" with him up until his untimely death. For that I will forever be thankful. The guest book is full of people who benefited from his love of teaching and his humor. What lucky people they are. I am comforted by his strong faith and knowing he is home with the Lord. My thoughts and prayers are with Aunt Janelle, Cousin Charles, Cousin Katie and the rest of his family.
Krismar (Anderson) Ramker
February 5, 2004
I wish there were words to express the deep sorrow I feel at Mr. Rolf Eklund Esquire's passing. To say that he had a deep impact on my life sounds so superficial compared to the richness that he so freely gave to us. Mr. Eklund's love of teaching was the inspiration for me to chose teaching as a career and Eklundese is spoken each day in my classroom. Thank you for sharing Rolf with us!!!!

RHOS '72
Kelly Noonan-McCoy
February 5, 2004
Mr. Eklund was a man who truly defined what it was to be unique and memorable. Never have I had a teacher who so stronly influenced me, made me laugh, and made me actually look forward to going to school. To his family, our prayers lift you up in your time of grief. What a wonderful man who touched so many with so much. My deepest sympathies in your loss. God bless you.
Karen (Schmidt) Oakley RHS Class'95
February 4, 2004
A couple weeks ago I was telling my husband about Mr. Eklund, sharing with him the impact that this amazing teacher had on me...impact that began 10 years ago but that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was so shocked to hear about this great loss. I will forever remember this great man who not only taught me more about history and economics than I ever thought I could learn, but who put a smile on my face every day. Thanks for the memories.
Jaclyn (Hovis) Hatcher
February 4, 2004
Mr. Eklund. I wish there were more people around here like him. Surprising, entertaining, brilliant, and what an awesome character. I studied history in college, love architecture to this day, and even work for a Finnish company. I've been to Finland 5 times. Still need to ask if he influenced my life?
Michelle Penny
February 4, 2004
Barbara & Burt TeKippe
February 4, 2004
We remember Rolf Eklund and the Eklund family with much fondness from nearly 50 years ago. I was their pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, from 1954 to 1960. Ruth and I felt very close to the Eklunds and we mourn with them over Rolf's untimely death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Janelle, and their children, as well as with Louise, his sister, and all the members of the family. May God comfort and bless you all. With much love from us.
The Rev. Ronald T and Mrs. Ruth O. Englund
February 3, 2004
Without Mr. Eklund, my last years of high school would not have been nearly as entertaining...and college would have been a rude shock. His history class was the first class I ever had to study for. Saying that he taught me a lot doesn't really cover it.

Eklunds, thank you for sharing him with us. My life is better because of his influence, and that wicked dry sense of humor.
Marcia Gillespie-Norder
February 2, 2004
I first met Mr. Eklund when I was a young girl in Elementary school. His daughter Katie was my best friend. I spent many days and nights in the Eklund home. Later in life I attended Richland High School and had both Eklund's as teachers. Mr. Eklund was the same at home as he was at school. Larger than life, all-knowing, always the teacher, witty, loving, and also a devoted son, husband and father. The tributes written here exemplify the type of man Mr. Eklund was. His legacy will live on and continue to touch lives.

To Katie, Mrs. Eklund and Charles,
I am truly and deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved Rolf. I hope you find comfort in all the words written here about the great man that he was and how many people he made such a profound impact on. May you find comfort in each other and your memories of him. I pray God will cover you with a peace that surpasses all understanding. Take shelter in the arms of the Almighty.

God Bless You,
Kathy (Winkelmann) Powell
RHS Class of 1983
Kathy (Winkelmann) Powell
February 2, 2004
I sit here reading all the loving tributes written about Mr. Eklund and am moved to tears. There are no words to describe such a person that has touched and influenced so many people, other than to say he was a blessing and a gift. I realize reading this guest book that even in death Mr. Eklund is still impacting his students. This is truly the hallmark of a born educator.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the family, friends and loved-ones of Rolf Eklund.

Amy Buresh
RHS Class of '96
Amy Buresh
February 2, 2004
blair hansard
February 2, 2004
My warmest thoughts and prayers to the Eklund family at this time. I'm one of the thousands of former students who somehow never thought this day would come. His sayings are still a part of my every day vocabulary. My deepest condolences.
Sarah (Burghart) Jacob - RHS '93
February 2, 2004
Mr. Eklund was a great and amazing man. I attended his class during last period and it always brightened my day. Who can forget the slide shows with , " this is a picture of my house," when it was really a picture of Monticello or some other historical mansion in the country. Eventhough, most of the time I was known as "Caldwell's sister" , his class was the most enjoyable one that I ever attended. Thank you Mr. Eklund for everything. You will be missed.
Jenny Caldwell McBrayer Class of 1994
February 2, 2004
I will never forget Mr.Ecklund...in fact I was just talking about him last week. Someone was talking and it was all just "BGBGB". I will never forget singing to him for his singing Valentine. He danced around...totally ate it up. He will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to his family. He was a wonderful teacher and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Class of 92
Kristin Scheffer (Odom)
February 2, 2004
As for so many others, the Eklunds were the teachers in my life who I remember with a smile. Both of them made us better than we thought we were because they believed in us. I still quote them bothe, "As Mr (or Mrs.) Eklund used to say...." I took as many of Mr. Eklunds classes as I possibly could for regardless of the subject matter, I knew that I would do well in the class, he would make sure of it. And Mrs. Eklund, I'm sure you don't remember this, but one day before class, as I walked by your desk I noticed a picture there..facing you. Teasing, I asked who was in the picture. You showed me the photograph of Mr. Eklund and answered with a dreamy smile, "That's my boyfriend". That exchange stayed with me. It was certainly nothing I had ever seen or heard before..radical! And I knew it was something I wanted from my (at that time) future marriage. I want you to know that I got it. Thank you both for being such amazing role models.
Sandra (Sam) Humphreys (Hurley)
February 2, 2004
It has been stated numerous times here, because it is true. Mr. Eklund is one of the teachers that most of us will remember all our lives. I was looking through some old yearbooks recently and found a couple pages of "Eklundisms" that still make me laugh. Someone in our class ('95) had kept a daily list of some of the things he said. March 29, 1995 - "Eklund High School, Rolf A. Eklund Jr. High School, Eklund Elementary...I like the sound of that." I think that would be a wonderful idea. He was truly an inspiration to the students at Richland and will be missed. Those of us who had him were lucky.
He will be missed.
Kimberly (Patchett) Cook
February 1, 2004
Mr. Eklund had a tremendous and profound impact on the lives of his students and will never be forgotten. He was truly a Richland High legend. My deepest sympathies are with his family.
February 1, 2004
My love of history can be directly traced to Mr. Eklund at Richland High. He opened our eyes and made us laugh along the way. I am very, very grateful to have known him.

With sympathy for the Eklund family,

Nancy Blackmon
Class of 1970
Nancy Blackmon
February 1, 2004
A great man who will be missed by all.
RHS class of 71
Debby (Short) Dominguez
January 31, 2004
I was a student of Mr. Eklund's and later worked with him at Richland High School. His unique sense of humor was refreshing to both teachers and students. Although he will be missed greatly, his impact will never be forgotten.
Courtney Boswell
January 31, 2004
Time will pass, people will come and go, and all your are left with are memories. I am filled with wonderful humorous memories of a great teacher, an even greater man, and,"A good American." Mr. Eklund will never be forgotten. "And lo, they went east of eden into the land of Nod..."
Jacob Wall-class of '97
January 31, 2004
I was lucky enough to get to see and visit with Mr. E at our Class of 1971 30th reunion 3 years ago. I got to get my picture taken with him. It means more to me than any movie star ever could. He was my American History Teacher and I will never forget him.
Angela Pulliam Nation
January 31, 2004
Rolf Eklund meant the world to me and to every other Richland students I know. We did not verbalize it, but Mr. Eklund was a mentor and a cheerleader for many of us who memorized state capitols, presedential successiona, and SAT vocabulary words. We shuddered at the thought of letting him down and always put forth out best effort.

I cannot thank him enough for the lessons he taught me, and can only hope that my children have teachers as dedicated as the Eklunds. In this time of grief, we sometimes focus on how wonderful a teacher and an inspiration Rolf was, but we forget or fail to mention how important both Mr. and Mrs. Eklund were in our development.

A sad occurence like this makes me realize and acknowledge what a wonderful influence both Rolf and Janelle have been on my life. You both have helped me to better myself, and you both have been ever present in my thoughts.

Tim Hunter
Class of 1992
Tim Hunter
January 31, 2004
He was a teacher I will never forget! He enriched my life.
melinda bowles
January 31, 2004
To the Eklunds

Your husband, father, loved one will be missed by many. He left his mark on so many people and inspired us to all be our best.
Though sometimes we didn't understand why we had to learn the things he assigned (slides of paintings and Ragged Dick and Mark the Matchboy come to mind). With everyday that passes his reasons become more clear. His teachings carried more than history, they carried with them lessons for life. He inspired us all and will be remembered always. He cared for every student he ever taught and showed us the very best in education and life. After all, I don't know of many teachers that upon graduation would have students fight over mementos from the time we spent in his class. May our compasses always point North so as best to see the rules of life that he taught so well.

In our hearts,
Pottsy
Kris Potts
January 30, 2004
I am very proud to have known Rolf Eklund, while growing up in Fort Worth as a friend of his son, my friend Charles. Rolf will be remembered as one of the most witty, intelligent, and loving men I have met. His family is a living tribute to his legacy. He will be greatly missed, and fondly remembered.
E. Keith Pomykal
January 30, 2004
Fond memories of being in his classroom came rushing to my mind upon hearing the sad news. He was truely a gift to those he taught. My heartfelt sympathy to the family.
Debbie Key
January 30, 2004
Mr. Eklund actually made history fun. He also made high school a more memoriable experience. Our class went to breakfast with him and your daughter one Saturday at LaMadeline's as a surprise. It'll always be a favorite memory. class of'92
Nikki Taylor (Caldwell)
January 30, 2004
Mr. Eklund was one of the best teachers I ever had. He taught us so many things that affected my life long after high school. God Bless him and his family.
Jennifer Wells
January 30, 2004
I was fortunate enough to have both Mr. and Mrs. Eklund for classes prior to my graduation from Richland in 1977. Simply put, Mr. Eklund had perfected the art of teaching. No matter what the subject matter, Mr. Eklund was able to make it enjoyable and something to look forward to. While people are often sad at graduation to leave their friends, I know many of his students, me included, were sad to graduate and leave his classes. Even though he made me "pick up my junk and move" on several occasions, he was a hugely positive influence on me, someone I have fondly remembered and talked about often over the last 26 years, and someone I will never forget. He made learning fun. I hope my daughter has at least one teacher of his caliber.
Randy Minshew
January 30, 2004
Mr. Eklund certainly had a tremendous impact on my life that continues to this day. Now I am a high school teacher, due in great part to Mr. Eklund's enthusiam for education.

So here's to Mr. Eklund:
My 'teeny boppers' will always;
Face North...
Listen up cloth ears!!!
You're a good American..
Don't touch me, you don't know me that well...
State your crisis...
I'll warm it up with my personality...
And lo, they went East of Eden into the land of Nod...

Thanks Mr. Eklund.
Cheers,
Chris Word
RHS Class of '97
Christopher Word
January 30, 2004
As I sit to write an entry in this guest book, I realize that I am confronted with an impossible task. That task is to someone arrange the 26 letters of the alphabet in a sequence that somehow adequately pays tribute to Mr. Eklund. Nothing I could write would ever describe the impact he had on my life and other students. Nothing I could write would ever come close to his intelligence, wit, humor, charm and passion for teaching. The only thing that could convey this is to simply meet the man and I am eternally grateful that I did.
ronnie white class of 1991
ronnie white
January 30, 2004
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of tremendous loss.We love you.
Richard and Rita Denney
January 30, 2004
I was a student of Mr. Eklund's at Richland. It is a great loss of someone who was so impressionable on us all. We not only learned from him in the classroom but quoted him and remembered him outside the classroom. I watched as many who never learned a thing from anyone else, learn more from Mr. Eklund about the world around us. He was truly an inspiration and gift. I will miss his integrity and his special connection with those in the land of "Osh Kosh B'Gosh." Mr. Eklund was what the world never had enough of.
Christina McCanlies
January 30, 2004
Mr. Eklund was a fantastic man, very reminiscent to my own father. I will never forget when he provided a special evening of comfort for me following my father's passing in December of 1995 while we visited,talked of my Dad(a retired Navy man), shared a beer and watched some NCAA basketball in his son Charles'(my very close friend) home that following March of '96 while we waited for Charles to return from a work trip. He was that type of special person who would do anything for anyone in need. I will miss him greatly and am priveleged to have known him.
Michael Staskevich
Michael Staskevich
January 30, 2004
Extending deep and heartfelt sympathy
to you and your family.
Sonia Boden
January 30, 2004
With our deepest sympathy....

Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time of sorrow
Robert & Zelma Reynolds
January 30, 2004
If 30 years from now I remember only one teacher from high school, it will be Mr. Eklund. His personality, sense of humor and "Eklundisms" always brightened at least one hour of my day. He will truly be missed, but rest assured, Mr. Eklund definitely left his mark in this world. My sympathies go out to the Eklund family.
Lindsay Owens
January 30, 2004
To the Eklunds,

As I am sure you have heard many times, Rolf was the epitome of what every teacher should strive for when trying to reach students. I still run into his former students from time to time, and not one us could think of a teacher we loved more. Rolf taught us so many more things than just what was in a textbook. I still use some of his teachings today and I can clearly remember many of his curious sayings. Rolf impacted so many people in his life, and I am proud to say I am a better man for having met him. I doubt you can find many people who would say different.

With all of my deepest sympathy,

Jeff Newsom
Richland High Our School 1994
Jeff Newsom
January 30, 2004
I had Eklund as a teacher, as did many. Some remember him better than others, some more fondly. I didn't keep in touch with many high school teachers after I graduated like others did. But if I had, he's one I would have liked to stay in touch with. He was funny, sincere, and truly wanted to challenge and invigorate our minds. He and his many sayings will be greatly missed. (No, I had several cut) ;-)
Bobby Lewis
January 30, 2004
Janelle, our thoughts and prayers
are with you and your family. Rolf
will truly be missed. You and your
family have been dear patients to
us for many years.
Love Dr. Edwards, Cathy, Kelli
Kelli Knox
January 30, 2004
Stouff - Last Chair, First Row, for the whole month of.....

We will never forget you ;-)
Jennifer Stouff
January 30, 2004
Thanks for the memories, Mr. Eklund. "Close the lights, class." Richland High Class of 1991
Matt Mitchell
January 30, 2004
Cathy Brooks
January 30, 2004
My father was my heart. He will always be with us. I am so fortunate to be his daughter.
Katherine Eklund Tilley
January 30, 2004
All four of our children graduated from Richland High School where Mr Eklund was a legend. He achieved the highest status one can attain in this life - a beloved and inspiring teacher. God bless him and his family.
Martha Gray
January 30, 2004
I am very sad at the loss of Mr. Eklund.
Armentia Newcomb
January 30, 2004
Charles, Katie and Mrs Eklund - I am so sorry for your loss. Mr Eklund was an exceptional person who influnced alot of lives through his career as a teacher and friend.

Katie - thank you for sharing your thoughts on your Dad through the obituary. It is very touching.

Jennifer
Jennifer Shields
January 30, 2004
I graduated from Richland High School in 1972, Mr. Eklund was a very unique person, he had a teaching style all his own and he knew how to get your attention. I am sure he and his wife touched many lifes during their tenure at Richland. God bless the Eklund family during this time of loss.
Janelle Shearer Summers
January 30, 2004
Mrs. Eklund and family,

I had the pleasure and honor of having Mr. Eklund for 2 classes at RHS. He made history come alive and our interest in the world outside of RHS expand. I remember he and I introducing bagels to his first humanities class in 1969 - these kids had never even heard of kosher foods other than pickles - the lunch ladies found them interesting as well. I believe he enjoyed the military kids because they had a wider view of the world and we certainly enjoyed his classes. He was and ever will be my favorite teacher and mentor.

He enriched so many lives, he was a man of integrity and honor who will be missed. Please accept my sincere condolences - God is with you always.

Betz Stampke
Class of 1970
Betz Stampke
January 30, 2004
He was a great man. I'm very priveleged to have had him substitute for my class multiple times. We will miss him.
Matthew Franks
January 30, 2004
It was wonderful to have him at our 30th reunion for RHS '71. And he gave me so much support by email after my bypass surgery. He was a wonderful man and this is a great loss. I know everyone at RHS is so saddened that he is no longer with us.
Patti (Johnson) Wimmer
January 30, 2004
While I did not have you for any classes myself while I was at Richland, I remember you and your wife (who was my English teacher) very well. You will be sorely missed. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
Rob Blake
January 30, 2004
Rolf, you were the most beloved teacher in the history of "RHOS" (Richland High Our School). Words cannot express the breadth and depth of your impact. We, your former students, thousands of us spanning three decades, are the walking, breathing words of your obituary. We are your living legacy. We miss you, and I hope my own sons have at least one teacher like you... the kind that leaves a lasting positive impact.
Lance Lindley
January 30, 2004
Showing 1 - 86 of 86 results