GEORGE GUNNER EK
March 8, 1931 ~ September 7, 2015
"To fully describe George Ek would be a complete
gentleman and family man. He was the perfect
example of how a man should live."
George Gunner Ek was handed over to the Lord surrounded by his loving family on Labor Day. It was ironic it was on that day as he was one of the hardest working men in the work force, fought blood cancer for ten years as well as being a retired U.S. Army Veteran. He was 84 years young. George Ek was born to George F. Ek and Esther Troolin on March 8th, 1931 in Minneapolis, MN. He was one of four siblings. He was of Swedish decent as his grandparents traveled from Sweden to settle in Minneapolis, MN in 1902. He was very proud of his heritage.
George joined the army in 1947 serving in the Korean War and retired as First Sergeant with Honorable Discharge in 1961. While serving in the Korean War, he met his Japanese typist, Toyoko Takahashi "Toni Ek." They would eventually fall in love and marry on Dec. 10, 1952. They had one child (Shirley) before making the trek to America on Aug. 22, 1953.
After moving to America, George Ek enlisted into the U.S Army Reserves. Traveling across the states they had four more children, Phillip in Minnesota, James in Wisconsin, Donald in Colorado and Pauline in Washington. They would eventually settle in Ridgefield, WA to raise their children before retiring in Hazel Dell, WA.
George worked at numerous places beginning at a golf course, Frito Lay, Hazel Dell Drive-in, Kiggins, Tidland, and on to retiring as a machinist from Boeing.
George Ek was full of life and compassion with a sense of humor that he took to heart. He often spoke that if you didn't have a sense of humor then you weren't even living. He loved spending time on his computer reading and sending jokes to all his friends and family. Just the slightest thing would make him chuckle, and that chuckle he shared with everyone. While sending his jokes to everyone he enjoyed listening to polka, blue grass, string guitar and piano music. His favorite band was called Truck Stop. He was an avid Seattle Mariners fan and enjoyed watching them play, especially when they were winning but would always joke their season was over after the first week of playing. But he really did like watching them as they always brought Japanese players to play, and his wife was from Japan. His favorite players were Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner and Ichiro Suzuki. George really loved his old black and white country western television shows. He loved them so much that he demanded to have his favorite channel, RFD, before he moved to Highgate Senior Living or he wasn't going there.
He was very proud of serving his time during the Korean War. He found groups of Korean War veterans and started going to multiple monthly gatherings with them. He always looked forward to the breakfast gatherings, celebrations of honoring the veterans, and the functions at the box car. But his favorite was the trips they took to the casino. During that time they were honored with a memorial wall in downtown Vancouver, WA where he was able to put his name.
George Ek was the greatest grandfather to all his grandchildren, most lived in America, and some in Germany, whom he always made time for no matter the distance. He was always loving, caring, and did anything the grandchildren wanted to do.
He always looked forward to the holidays because he knew the family would be complete together under one roof and would call to those in Germany so everyone could talk to them and they would feel a part of the celebrations. He had the biggest heart for strangers and was a man of giving those an opportunity whether it was buying a warm meal for a person less fortunate to paying teenagers and adults to do duties around the yard that needed to make some extra money.
George Ek was preceded in his death by his loving wife of 61 years, Toyoko "Toni" Ek; his son, Phillip Ek; brother, Kenneth Anderson; and sisters, Gladys Wiggins and Beverly Koplin.
George Ek is survived by his sister, Pearl Daniels of Minnesota; sons, Donald Ek of Vancouver, WA and Jim and Gerdi Ek of Germany; daughters, Shirley Mitchell of Vancouver, WA, and Pauline Davis of Vancouver, WA; his grandchildren, Mike and Mary Roane with great-grandson Mitch of Vancouver, Trina and Fred Jenkins of Vancouver with great-granddaughters, Samantha and Brianna, Tyffany and Joe Ulstead of Kalama, WA with great-grandsons, Justin and River, Brandon and Billie Ek-Bonneau of Vancouver, WA with great-granddaughters, Kaylee and Samantha, Jayson and Dana Ek of Clovis, CA with great-grandson, Titus, Joe Davis of San Francisco, CA and grandchildren, Tatyana, Oliver, Jennifer, Judy, and Ed, all of Germany.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2p.m. on Sun., Sept. 20th at 17409 NE 30th Court, Ridgefield, WA 98642. Service will be held at 11a.m. on Mon., Sept. 21st at Willamette National Cemetery.
Very special THANK YOU to Highgate Senior Living and our Hospice Nurse Loni Tucker. We LOVE you all!!!
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits