Cover photo for Shirley "Joann" Ekleberry's Obituary
Shirley "Joann" Ekleberry Profile Photo
1928 Shirley "Joann" 2024

Shirley "Joann" Ekleberry

June 13, 1928 — May 30, 2024


Shirley "Joann" Ekleberry passed away Thursday, May 30, 2024 at GracePointe Crossing in Cambridge at the age of 95.

Shirley Joann Bell was born June 13, 1928 in Mora, Minnesota, the oldest of 3 children born to Harry and Martha "Lucille" (Edwards) Bell. She had a brother Vernon and a sister Betty Mae.

Joann finished school and went on to become a teacher. On January 1, 1948, she married Orlo Ekleberry and they lived in Columbia Heights. She taught until she got pregnant and was forced to take a leave of absence. They moved to Stark and then to Rush City. Joann worked at the Co-Op store and eventually both her and Orlo managed it. Joann was known for her canning and she canned everything. She would have over 100 jars in the basement! After the store closed, they both worked at GracePointe Crossing in Cambridge where they worked for 15 years and then retired. Joann and Orlo lived on the farm for 52 years and due to health reasons they were moved into GracePointe Crossing where they were very active. The first year they were at the nursing home they were king and queen. In 2018, Joann was princess and they were even in a couple of parades. Joann was very helpful at the nursing home. In 2021, she broke her femur bone and then she needed more care which was hard on her. She went through physical therapy, but was unable to get back to walking. Through this, she remained a strong and upbeat lady.

Joann read a lot and still worked on knitting and crocheting, knitting squares for a church to make afghans for homeless families and mittens for her daughters school. She was a prayer warrior and spent a lot of time reading her Bible. She would pray for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by name everyday. Joann was always a positive lady and she would always say this is where God wants me and I’m satisfied with that.

Joann is survived by her children Colleen Deragon of Hutchinson, Daryle (Shannon) Ekleberry of Mora, Cheryl (Rick) Harer of Andover; 6 grandchildren Jason (Beytni) Ekleberry of Mora, Chris (Pam) Harer of Andover, Jennifer Ekleberry of Florida, Josh (Julianna) Belmont of Eden Prairie, Brandon (Amanda) Harer of Coon Rapids, Kassandra Secord of Andover; 5 great-grandchildren Carson Harer, Courtney Harer, Alexia Harer, Payton Harer, Kali Secord;  brother-in-law Rev. Lyle (Arlene) Ekleberry of Phoenix, AZ; sisters-in-law Barbara Bell of New Brighton, Mona Rae Larson of Cambridge; many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Martha "Lucille" Bell; husband Orlo Ekleberry; brother Vernon Bell; sister Betty Mae (Bob) Rollings; grandson Keith Ekleberry; sons-in-law Richard Swenson, Jim Deragon; brother-in-law Don Larson.

Reverend Terry Port will officiate at Joann's funeral service: 11 AM; Thursday, June 20, 2024 with a time of visitation and reviewal one hour prior to the service all at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge. The interment will take place in the Rush Lake Baptist Cemetery, Rush Point.

Arrangements are entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City ~ Olson Chapel

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley "Joann" Ekleberry, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services


Thursday, June 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 429

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree