Fern V. Eckenrod Dies At 89
Fern V. Eckenrod age 89 of Nashua, IA, died Thursday, December 15, 2016, at the Cedar Vale Assisted Living in Nashua.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 19, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Nashua with Rev. John Tunnicliff presiding. Mary Jean Parks will be the organist accompanying soloist, Gene Niewoehner singing, "The Lord's Prayer". Congregational hymns are "Hymn Of Promise" and "On Eagle's Wings". A special cd of "O' Danny Boy" will also be played.
Internment will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nashua with Rudy Bouillon, Zachary Eckenrod, Lucas Eckenrod, Michael Moore, Jared Niewoehner, Jacob Courtney, Sean Cook, John Eckenrod and Cody Gray as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Jennifer Bouillon, Laura Niewoehner, Elizabeth Moore and Katrina Eckenrod. Online condolences for Fern's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com
Friends may greet the family from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home - Olson Chapel in Nashua. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
Fern Verdell (Healey) Eckenrod was born November 9, 1927 in Curtiss, Wisconsin to Wallace and Myrtle (Roberts) Healey. She was given her name, Fern Verdell, at the request of older sister Beryl, who had fond memories of a young playmate with the same name. At the age of eight, she moved with her family to a farm near Little Cedar in Mitchell County, Iowa. One of her earliest memories of winter was of her mother carrying Fern into the house. Snowflakes were falling, and her mother told her Mother Goose was changing a feather bed. Her parents were very poor; one Christmas, they were only able to afford a pencil and pen set for Fern. In 1940, the family moved to a farm near Carrville, Iowa where Fern completed the eighth grade. She attended one year of high school in Charles City, Iowa. In 1941, they moved near Nashua. She graduated from Nashua High School as valedictorian in 1944. Immediately upon graduation, at the age of 16, she began working at the First Nashua State Bank. She was employed there for three and a half years.
Fern met Les met while riding in a car for country neighborhood school children, as no school buses were available. He would sit in the middle front seat so he could utilize the rear view mirror and look at her in the back seat and wink, always flashing a smile. Les graduated at age 18, and Fern was only 14, but by then he had stolen her heart. Les, unaware of Fern's true feelings, enlisted in the Army during World War II, participating in heavy fighting in Belgium, Germany, and France. He was discharged in 1946 after being awarded the Bronze Star. Fern was eating at a local cafe when Les walked up to her after attending a meeting to discuss the creation of the Nashua VFW. He struck up conversation, asking if she remembered him, talking for several hours which began their courtship. Les wanted to get married soon, but Fern refused to be married before age twenty.
She was united in marriage to Leslie Eckenrod on November 9, 1947 (Fern's twentieth birthday) at the Little Brown Church . The first four months of their married life were spent in New Hampton, Iowa. They then returned to Nashua to make their home. Four children were born to this union.
Fern was a homemaker for several years, returning to part-time office work in 1967. She worked for Glenn Smith, farm manager and estate planner, as well as Bertha Zimmerman, insurance agent. She was later employed as an office secretary for the Nashua United Methodist Church and Republic Community Church, retiring in 1999. She was a member of UMC, VFW Auxillary, Nashua UM Women, and the Isabelle Club.
Fern was a matter-of-fact, no nonsense type of woman. She could be known for “the Fern Look.” She was also extremely generous and loving to her family and has left a legacy that will live on in the memories of her children and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Wallace and Myrtle Healey; Sister, Beryl Lee; husband Leslie Eckenrod and son, Michael Eckenrod. Fern is survived by son, Ron (Jane) Eckenrod; daughter, Cheryl (Gene) Niewoehner; daughter, Kae (Don) Ovel; grandchildren: Jenny (Rudy) Bouillon, John Eckenrod, Zachary (Katrina) Eckenrod, Lucas (Jonna) Eckenrod, Libby (Michael) Moore, Laura (Sean) Cook, Jared Niewoehner, Jacob (Jill) Courtney; step-grandchildren: Don, Sierra, Tori, and Amber Ovel; great-grandchildren: Chelsie (Cody) Gray, Mackenzie and Carver Bouillon, Arielle Eckenrod, Ashton Eckenrod, Anaya Rankin, Lily Cook, Kindelle Courtney; step-great grandchildren: Savannah Moore, Colton, Kayleigh, and Landon Russell.