George Earl Ekberg passed away suddenly on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2019 two days short of his 80th birthday.
He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Jacqueline Roberta (Hilleary) Ekberg; his siblings Janis (Ekberg) Harral, Garland Ekberg and Geraldine ‘Bugz’ (Ekberg) Kammeyer; his children James Derek Marshall, Georgiana Leola (Ekberg) Bluhm, Michael David Marshall and Hilleary Asenthe Ekberg; his grandchildren Amanda (Bluhm) Rommel, Alexis Bluhm, Ashley Bluhm and Austin Bluhm; and guardian to Elizabeth ‘Betty Ann’ Ann Groux.
He is preceded in death by his parents William Earl Ekberg and Glady Juanita (Simpson) Ekberg; his daughter Robin Donnell Marshall; and his grandson Brodie James Scott Ekberg.
George was born to William Earl and Gladys Juanita Ekberg in Ketchum, Oklahoma. A few year later the Ekberg’s moved to Caldwell Idaho where they lived for about 7 years before moving to Springfield Oregon, where George graduated from Springfield High School.
During high school George enjoyed wrestling, pole vaulting, track and field, singing in his high school choir, fishing, hunting and getting into trouble with his best friend Richard ‘Butch’ Morten. Together George and Butch enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves and where stationed together in the 2nd 155 MM Gun Battery in Eugene Oregon.
George achieved the rank of Corporal before being honorably discharged.While stationed at Camp Pendleton, he was introduced to his first wife Barbara Walton. They were married in 1963 and moved to San Jose when George left the Marine Corps and two years later welcomed their daughter Georgiana Leola Ekberg into their family.
In 1971, while working as a baker in San Jose, George meet and fell in love with Jacqueline and in 1972 he married Jackie in a small family ceremony at their house on Cree Drive. George not just married Jackie but also became the step father to her beautiful children James Derek Marshall, Michael David Marshall and Robin Donnell Marshal, which he raised as his own. In 1975 they welcomed their youngest child Hilleary Asenthe Ekberg into their Brady Bunch Family.In 1977, George and Jackie moved their clan to Gilroy, in the house that would be known as “The Ranch” to the family. George and his family raised horses, pigs, rabbits and chickens and he worked multiple jobs to support his family.
In 1981 George was hired as the Baker for the Flying Lady restaurant in Morgan Hill, where he became close friends with Irv Perch and his family. All his surviving children at one point or another worked at the restaurant in one capacity or another, but his most trusted co-worker was James’ Best Friend Jon Michael Cicairos, who became very close with George and learned a lot of life lessons from him and who George and Jackie treated as their other ‘son’.
George was an active member of the San Jose & Gilroy communities and helped coach many young athletes to learn the games of baseball, softball, golf and yes even bowling. He enjoyed going square dancing, bowling, golf, singing, coaching, fishing and working on the ranch.
He was also a social butterfly and no matter where he went in town, he would run into someone he knew and strike up a conversation about their family or golf, much to the chagrin of his children, who would arrive home some days with George already knowing what they had done.
He loved to watch golf on Sundays and loved to pull out his guitar and just sing at any gathering. George spent his final years retired from work and enjoying his family when they would come and visit him and Jackie at the ranch.Services for George will be 3:00 pm on May 26, 2019 at Habing Family Funeral Home located at 129 4th Street, Gilroy CA 95020.
All are also welcomed to attend the gathering at the family ranch shortly after the services to commemorate George’s life.