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Charles Stanley "Stan" Ekola

October 23, 1933 May 15, 2020
Charles  Stanley "Stan" Ekola
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Obituary for Charles Stanley "Stan" Ekola

Charles Stanley Ekola, “Stan”, was born October 23, 1933. He grew up in Houghton, MI with his brother Milton. He enjoyed playing baseball and music, becoming a proficient trumpet player following in his father’s footsteps. His family moved to Highland Park Michigan, where he graduated from Highland Park High school in 1952.

He met the love of his life Shirley Ann Hardy and after a short courtship, they became man and wife on October 9th, 1954. Stan was called to duty by the U.S. army, 101 st Airborne Division August 17, 1956 stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. Stan, put his musical talent to good use becoming a member of the U.S. Airborne Band. While stationed there Stan and Shirley developed a lifelong friendship with Melvin, a fellow band player and his wife Beth. Stan was honorably discharged in 1958 and he and Shirley moved back to Detroit. Stan took a job in the home construction business becoming an accomplished drywall finisher. Stan proudly built his own home in Redford, MI where he and Shirley raised their three Daughters Tammy, Shari and Kimmy.

Stan was the definition of a “simple man”, a humble man, who worked hard everyday to support his family. Family was the most important thing to Stan and Shirley. Their home was filled with love and laughter, their relationship set a beautiful example to their daughters. He felt blessed to have in laws that he loved like siblings. Stan and Shirley would often take trips to the upper peninsula, special time with family that they cherished.

After Shirley’s untimely passing Stan eventually retired and enjoyed the fruits of his labors, traveling and seeing his grand children grow and have children of their own. Stan demonstrated strength and dignity to the end, peacefully passing with his daughters by his side May 15, 2020 at Arbor Hospice in Saline Mi.

Stan was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley, in 1993, Milton O. Ekola in 1999, S. Ivey 2016 and survived by his daughters, Tamara VanDike, Shari Mackalski and her husband Paul, Kimberly Gaffney and her husband Patrick; grandchildren, Nicholas VanDike (Stacey), Alexandra DiPaolo (Anthony), Jacob VanDike, Katrina Cumbo (Evan), Sydnee Gaffney, Andrei Gaffney, Ian Gaffney; great grandchildren, Kyler VanDike and Carmela DiPaolo; in-laws, Richard "Chum” Hardy (Nancy), Frank “Pat” Hardy (Margaret), James Hardy (Susan), Pamela Capaldi (Americo “Rick”), Deborah Dickie, and many nieces, nephews, extended family members and dear friends.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please send donations to Arbor Hospice in Saline Michigan.

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