The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 27, 2013

Matilda “Tillie” Ekeland

Published 9-27-13

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, OK — Matilda “Tillie” Ekeland, 83, died Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, at Newton Medical Center in Newton, Kan. She was born Sept. 13, 1930, to Katie (Koehn) and Cornelius B. Unruh in Enid, Okla.

On Sept. 9, 1956, she married Joseph “Joe” Ekeland in Wichita, Kan. He died April 4, 1986.

Tillie graduated from Grace Bible Institute and also earned her registered nurse degree. She worked in the medical field, training at Wesley Hospital in Wichita, until her and Joe started a family. Tillie then stayed home to raise their three children,  Mark, Marcia and Brian.

Tillie held a membership with Grace Community Church. She spent many years volunteering for the Source of Light in Newton, Kan. She enjoyed writing, and had several publications within the Source of Light literature.

When Tillie moved to Newton on July 4, 1997, she stayed active with Leading Ladies Ministries as well as teaching ladies Bible study groups.

Tillie was preceded in death by her parents and her spouse, Joe; siblings, Deena Koehn, Mary Koehn, Lena Koehn, Lizzy Becker, Mabel Kauffman and Dan Unruh.

Survivors include three children and spouses and grandchildren and spouses: Mark (Bonnie) Ekeland, Sedgwick, grandson Jason (Leah), great-grandchildren, Daniel and Matthew, Burrton, Kan., Justin (Sarah), great-grandchildren, Judah and Alexis, Newton, Jeremy (Jennalee), great-grandchildren, Julia and Jaxon, Newton; daughter, Marcia (John) Nicholls, Fleming Island, Fla., grandson, Tyler (Devyn), Lakeland, Fla., grandson, Kyle Nicholls, Orlando, Fla., granddaughter, Charissa Nicholls, Buenos Aires, Argentina, granddaughter, Melanie Nicholls, Orlando, Fla., and grandson, Ryan Nicholls, Fleming Island, Fla.; son, Brian (Melissa) Ekeland, Merriam, Kan., grandchildren, Cory, Ryan, Brianne, Alex and Lindsey Ekeland, Merriam, Kan.; sister, Susie Neufeld; three brothers, Walt Unruh, Paul Unruh and Leo Unruh.

A book signing will be available to visitors today, Sept. 27, 2013, at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Memorial service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at Grace Community Church, Newton, Kan. Rev. Dave Reimer and Steve Friesen will be presiding. There will be a private family burial held in Meno, Okla.

Memorials may be made to the Source of Light Kansas, in care of the funeral home at 120 E. Broadway, Newton, KS 67114

Friends may sign the book online at

(Submitted by family)