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Fern Eckenrod

fern eckenrod
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. 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 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.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Services created a video in memory of Fern V. Eckenrod

  2. Ron,Cheryl,Kae, Heartfelt sympathies to all of you and other loved ones.Celerate your Mothers wonderful legacy and cherish all of those fond memories. Fern was a special and sweet lady. I always enjoyed my conversations with her when I would visit Bryan and Mabel Conley. If you wanted to know anything about gardening ask Fern,Les,Bryan or Mabel. Those 4 were the epitome of cordial neighbors. Thinking of all of you. Karilyn Naeve Claude

  3. We were so shocked when we read at Nashua Reporter obituary about the passing of our dear friend, Fern. We just got a nice Christmas card from her on the first week of December with a very sweet handwritten note. We got a chance to see her last July and she was still as nice, fun and lots of stories to share. We parted with a big hug and told us that she was so happy to see us and hopefully to be back again someday. Never knowing we won’t see her again. Fern, is now at peace with the Lord , and we thank for sharing some lovely memories with her. With deepest sympathy….Tod Hannemann and Christy Gregory

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Fern. I remember all the good times we used to have. She was a very special person . Jane Hansen and family .

  5. We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your loved one we witnessed the Fern look on several occasions. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Jeff, Gail & Ryan Schwartzkopf, Tom & Raquel Jack

  6. Ron, Cheryl and Kae . . . I just heard on the radio that your mom had passed away. I am so sorry. Don and I enjoyed having Fern & Les and Bryan & Mabel Conley as neighbors . . . back in the old days. She and Les shared a very good life, and I feel she was ready to meet up with Les and Mike. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Jeanne Blum

  7. Ron, Cheryl and Kae. Deepest symphathies to you and your families. May you find comfort in your fond memories of Aunt Fern. Craig and Alice Eckenrod

  8. My deepest sympathy to the family of Fern. I remember the family times of being all together with Les, Fern, and all the Lee family. It was always a fun time. She was truly a lovely lady, and may she be at peace with Les, family, and her Lord and savior.

  9. Les and fern were wonderful neighbors. ..very kind and generous. ..she’s going home to see les again… Mike oleson and peggy and larry oleson

  10. Our deepest condolences to the family of Fern Eckenrod. Stopping to see Aunt Fern was one of our favorite things to do on our trips back to Minnesota from Colorado. Aunt Fern was a most kind and loving person and always very willing to share her knowledge of the family history. She will be missed. Loren and Sandy Kaus

  11. To Ron, Cheryl and Kae, losing your Mom is life changing and sadness for some time. Your Mom was a very special person to me even though we didn’t see each other very much. When I think of Aunt Fern one word always comes to mind….Grace. She was full of grace, a virtue few of us have. She was the best of the best…All of you will be in my thoughts and prayers……….lovingly, Barbara

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Eckenrod family, at this time of their loss. Les and Fern were great friends of my folks (Herb and Margaret) and very helpful during my youth. In fact, Dad rode to work at Shield Bantam/Koehring in Waverly for work. They were very supportive during Dads eye problems and various surgeries. They’ll always be remembered as very special people.

  13. Cheryl, to you and your whole family, Sammy and I are so sorry for you loss. Fern was a wonderful, kind, patient, spirited woman who inspired us all to be better people and will be missed by so many. Our sympathy and love to all. Karla and Sammy hilt

  14. To a most beautiful person. Fern was my cub scout Den Mother and so many other things to me while growing up. She will be missed.

  15. Fern was an amazing lady and Chloe and I enjoyed sharing time with her on Thursdays at Cedar Vale Assisted Living, during devotion and singing fellowship. Very loving and caring lady and we are grateful to have known her. Thoughts and Prayers for comfort and strength to her family during this time of great loss. God Bless! Rachelle & Chloe Bobenmoyer.

  16. Fern was one of my favorite Ladys at the assistant living, I so enjoyed visiting with her, she was so kind. I went and saw her the night she got sick, she gave me a big hug and told me she loved me and thanked me for taking such good care of her, she told me how sick she was going to get and I told her I know it breaks my heart, but i don’t blame you for the choice you’ve made, if I was in your shoes I’d make that same choice, I’m going to miss her just as much as her family’s going to miss her, RIP Fern continue to be my guardian Angel along with your family

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