Cover photo for Ordean Richard "Dean" Eklund's Obituary
Ordean Richard "Dean" Eklund Profile Photo
1934 Ordean 2023

Ordean Richard "Dean" Eklund

October 4, 1934 — April 5, 2023

Ordean “Dean” Richard Eklund passed away peacefully at John Knox Village Assisted Living at the age of 88.
Ordean was born to August and Martha Eklund in Wheatville, Minnesota, on October 4, 1934. Following the inspiration of his mother in 1951, the family moved to Missouri to gather with the Saints of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), of which Ordean was a baptized member. He graduated from Penney High School in Hamilton, Missouri, where he played on the undefeated football team his senior year. He kept in touch with many of his classmates over the years.
After moving to Independence, he met Patricia “Patty” at an older youth event at the RLDS Auditorium. They married in 1953 and had three children: Hope, Susan and Eric.
From 1952 to 1964, Ordean worked at the Montgomery Ward warehouse in Kansas City, preparing orders for soil pipe, water heaters, and various types of fencing. He also had several other part-time jobs to support his young family so Patty could be home to “raise the children well.”
In 1964, he began his 22-year career with Mid-America Cinema Theaters, managing several of the top-grossing theaters in the Kansas City area (such as the Blue Ridge Cinema and the Twin Drive-In). As general manager, he was responsible for over 20 indoor and drive-in theaters, and hundreds of employees. He contributed his knowledge of the business in two articles in the magazine “Boxoffice.” After his children grew older, they and his wife Patty – as well as many extended family members – also worked in the theaters. Many people with whom he worked became like family. He was known as “Mr. E” during this time, and for his remaining years, he would sign cards and personal notes as “Mystery.”
In 1986, he began selling health and life insurance, working with his daughter, Hope, at Consolidated Services, Inc., until he retired in 1999.
Ordean loved life and brightening the day for others. A very outgoing man, he would talk to anyone and he loved to tell jokes and stories. (In fact, in more recent years, when he received “scam calls” on his cell phone, he would stay on the line and make the caller laugh with his jokes.) He was a member of the Rotary Club and the YMCA. He was an avid Chiefs, Royals and A’s fan and loved sports of all kinds. Throughout his adult life, he played baseball, 50-plus softball, water volleyball and participated in bowling leagues and numerous events in Senior Olympics; he also coached his son Eric’s YMCA basketball and football teams. He greatly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sports events.

Ordean loved road trips, taking his family on vacations every summer, eventually covering the entire continental United States. As the years went on, he and Patty continued to travel, especially enjoying their trips to Branson. They loved to bring the family together for holidays at their home, especially their annual 4th of July picnic. Family and friends came to expect to see him behind a camera to interview them and document the event, first using his Super 8 movie camera and later, his camcorder. Several years ago, he had all of those movies (plus hundreds of slides) transferred to DVDs, which he and Patty would often enjoy. These are greatly treasured by the family.
Later in life (1995), he was ordained to the office of Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ, Oak Grove Restoration Branch, where he especially enjoyed ministering in team home visits to church members.
In 2011, Ordean and Patty moved from their Independence home of 40 years to John Knox Village (JKV), where they enjoyed the many amenities. Dean quickly became involved in the golfing community there and often played the nine-hole course. Not surprisingly, he made many new friends at JKV playing pinochle, hand-and-foot, and billiards.
His devoted wife Patty passed away in 2018. He was also predeceased by his father (1952), his mother (1977), brother Robert (1991), brother Alan (2002), sister-in-law Verla Vivian (2019), sister Carrol (2020), daughter-in-law Debbie (2021), and sister-in-law Ina (2022).
He always said his best accomplishment was “raising three wonderful children with the most wonderful wife in the world!”
Ordean is survived by his children: Hope (Alan), Susan (Charles), and Eric; his grandchildren John (Lisa), Brooke (David), Jana (Aaron), Katie (Brian), Jennifer (Ryan), James, Jill (Rob), and Spencer (Taylor); 16 great-grandchildren: Nickolaus, Tristan; Jackson, Caden; Davin, Savannah, Myles, Pierce; Madilyn, Gabriella; Lauren, Cara; Joseph; Lukas, Kole, and Ryker; his sister-in-law Carol Darlene; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
His family, friends, caregivers and business associates will always remember him for his sense of humor, as well as his caring and loving heart, always admonishing us to love God and love one another! (John 13:34-35)

Ordean’s family and friends wish to express our thanks
and appreciation for the loving care provided by
John Knox Village Assisted Living since November 2022,
and, by Village Hospice since February 2023.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Church of Jesus Christ, Oak Grove Restoration Branch.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ordean Richard "Dean" Eklund, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, April 10, 2023

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Service

Monday, April 10, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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