Ekness, Charlotte Lois Maxine Sep 16, 1929 - Feb 4, 2016 Charlotte Lois Maxine Ekness died unexpectedly on February 4, 2016, at her Omaha home at age 86. She was born on September 16, 1929, to Christian and Marie Ekness in East Grand Forks, MN, the eighth of nine children. The family farmed in Brenna Township in Grand Forks County, ND. She was preceded in death by four sisters, Doloris Lohroff, Loraine Gullickson, Gwendolyn Weschler and Joanne Lamin, and three brothers, Halfdan, Wellington and Carmein Ekness. She is survived by sister Muriel Huey of Minneapolis; sister-in-law Avis Ekness, who resides on the family farm; and brother-in-law Peter Lamin of Nottingham, England. "Auntie Char" also is survived by 16 nieces and nephews, 20 great nieces and nephews, and 12 great-great nieces and nephews. Char, at age 3, was credited with saving her family's lives when fire broke out in the farm home on a bitterly cold November day in 1932. She was not feeling well that night and was sleeping downstairs with her parents. Fire had started in the wood box next to the cook stove, and Char woke up in the middle of the night thinking she smelled pancakes cooking. Her parents were able to rouse everyone in the house and everyone got out alive. Their beautiful state-of-the-art farm home with six bedrooms, however, burned to the ground. She was confirmed at Evanger Lutheran Church – just down the road from the farm - and was graduated from Grand Forks Central High School in 1947. After helping her mother on the farm, Char worked at medical clinics in Grand Forks and Fargo, ND. In 1958, she accepted a secretarial position with the American Shorthorn Association in Omaha. Her brothers raised Shorthorns on the family farm and she was proud of the breed. The ASA honored her twice – in Denver and Louisville -- for her more than 40 years of dedicated service. After several years in the 1970s when she returned to Grand Forks to work for her nephew Mark Gullickson's travel agency, she spent the rest of her years in Omaha, where she made lifelong friends and was an active member of the Lutheran Church of the Master for nearly 50 years. She was an avid Cornhuskers fan and never lost her enthusiasm for North Dakota hockey! But nothing was more important to Char than her family. She traveled numerous times to England to visit her sister Joey and her family. She spent many Christmases in England, California, North Dakota and Minnesota with assorted family members. Proud of her Norwegian heritage, Char was thrilled to travel to Norway with Joey and Peter. One month before her death, Char had helped Muriel celebrate her 100th birthday. SERVICES will be held at 2pm, on Saturday, February 27 at Lutheran Church of the Master, 2617 S. 114 St., Omaha. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to Lutheran Church of the Master Food Pantry. Char will be laid to rest with other family members in the Evanger cemetery on Saturday, May 28. HEAFEY-HOFFMANN-DWORAK-CUTLER 5108 "F" St. 402-391-3900 www.heafeyheafey.com
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