Junior Ekins, 96, of Newton died on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at his home. A graveside service and military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 19, at Newton Union Cemetery. The family will greet friends from 2-4 p.m., Sunday, April 18, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. Memorials to Tunnel for Towers Foundation or the American Legion Post 111 may be left at the funeral home or the graveside service.
Junior was born to Henry Daniel and Lillian Lavina (Ekins) Prochet on August 29, 1924 in Ogden, Utah. After the death of his parents he was raised by his grandparents Henry Burnham and Lillian Elzada (Hall) Ekins. Junior served his country in the U.S. Marines from December of 1942 until November of 1945; receiving two purple hearts during his time in service. During his time in the military Junior began a letter writing relationship and occasional phone call with Velma Townsend from rural Newton. After he was discharged, he came to Iowa to meet her and they were engaged by the end of that trip. On August 20, 1946, Junior and Velma were united in marriage in Newton. They made their home between Utah and Iowa for a few years before moving to Iowa permanently in 1950. Junior had an over 36-year career as the General Foreman of Maintenance at Plant 2 for the Maytag Company, retiring in 1986.
Junior was a member of the Elks Lodge, VFW Post 1655, American Legion Post 111, Newton Masonic Lodge #59 for 65 years, and Oriental Commandery #22 for 61 years. He was awarded the Knight Templar of the Temple (KCT) and Knight Templar Cross of Honor (KTCH). Junior also was the Newton 4th of July Grand Marshall in 2013. Junior had a green thumb and loved to garden and do yard work. He had a knack for knowing dates and times from his past and was a proud member of a Jasper County Freedom Flight. Junior was very devoted to Velma and his family and his daughters said it best when they would comment “they broke the mold with our dad.”
Junior is survived by his wife, Velma Ekins of Newton; daughters, Julie (Dan) Crook of Newton and Peggy (Brad) Pohto of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; his grandchildren, Cassie (Brian) Crummett of Pella, Jennifer (Ben) Peterson of New York City, New York, Amanda (Sam) Regehr of Kiowa, Colorado, Kali (Aaron) Mantey of St. Louis Park Minnesota, and Brittney Pohto of White Bear Lake, Minnesota; and great-grandchildren, Alexis Baker, Brianna Crummett, and Jackson Regehr. He was preceded in death by his parents; maternal grandparents; son, Jack Ekins; and brother, Jack Ekins.
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