Milford Ekeren

Milford Ekeren


Milford Ekeren, 84, of Yankton passed away Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM, Saturday, November 5 at Vangen Lutheran Church in Mission Hill. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 PM with a 7:00 PM prayer service, Friday, November 4th at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home in Yankton.  Online condolences may be sent at: Live streaming of his service can be found at:

Milford Arnot Ekeren was born on February 7th, 1938, in Yankton, SD to Olaf and Lucille (Warden) Ekeren.  He was baptized at Vangen Lutheran Church in Mission Hill, SD.  Milford lived with ten brothers and sisters on the family farm outside of Mission Hill and attended DeVoe grade school his first eight years of education.  Milford then attended Gayville High School, graduating in 1955.  After graduation Milford joined the army, serving one year at Fort Carson in Colorado and two years in Germany.  Upon return from the service, Milford worked at the Human Services Center in Yankton, SD.

On July 6, 1961, Milford married Helen Wagner and resided in Yankton. During this time, he worked on the farm of his father-in-law and also the Legion Lunch.  Later, Milford worked at the Freeman Corporation for a short time. Milford was most remembered for the time that he was employed with Goodyear Tire Company, which he worked for twenty years.  Health issues later caused him to retire at an early age.

Milford enjoyed spending time with his eight grandchildren, including attending many of their sports activities.  One of the hardest times of his life was losing his ninth grandchild, Hannah, at the age of 3 months.  Milford also enjoyed time gardening, playing cards, watching the Vikings play football, and getting together with his family. He was known for his contagious smile and great sense of humor by many.

Milford spent the last 6 months of his precious life in a nursing home where his wife Helen visited regularly.  On November 2, 2022, at the age of 84, Milford passed away at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital due to hip surgery complications.

Milford is survived by his wife Helen of 61 years, four children and their spouses:  Dave (Kristi) Ekeren of Yankton, SD; Debbie Horlyk of Canton, SD; Steve (Marina) Ekeren of Rosemount, MN; Susan (Randy) Kirchner of Yankton, SD; eight grandchildren:  Brady Ekeren, Sarah (Kyle) Kocmick, Cody (Natalee) Horlyk, Brandon (Paige) Ekeren, Kylie Ekeren, Courtney Horlyk, Jacob Kirchner, Dylan Kirchner;  great granddaughter Brooklyn Kocmick; four brothers: Maurice of Yankton, SD; Darrell (June) of Mission Hill, SD; Marvin (Marilyn) of Yankton, SD; James (Donna) Ekern of Florida and sister Judy (Bob) Hackett of Yankton, SD.

Milford was proceeded in death by his parents Olaf and Lucille; brothers Gene Ekeren, Bob (Tubby) Ekeren, Denny Ekeren; sisters Sharon Ekeren and Bonnie Silvernail; brother-in-law Murray Lichliter; sisters-in-law JoEtta Ekeren, Rose Ekeren, Janice Ekeren, Kay Ekeren and Janet Ekeren; and granddaughter Hannah Kirchner.