Obit: Harlon “Harley” Ekvall, 89, West Bend

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Harlon “Harley” Ekvall, 89, of West Bend, passed away on Thursday, April 21, 2016, at his home surrounded by family.

He was born on January 25, 1927, at home on the family farm, to the late Willis and Myrtle (nee Markee) Ekvall in Marshfield WI.

Harley took over the family farm at age17 after his father became ill.  He was gifted in mechanics and could fix just about anything such as installing running water in his parent’s house while still in high school.  He married Colleen Sullivan in 1949 and raised their three children on the family farm. He farmed a 160-acre dairy farm until age 42.  After selling the farm, Harley worked at Maurer’s Heating and Cooling in Marshfield, where he built and installed HVAC systems.


Harley moved to West Bend to marry the love of his life, Diane Baka.  They married in August of 1984 and had over 31 wonderful years together!


He worked for Tennies Hardware in West Bend until his children encouraged him to retire at age 79!  Harley enjoyed performing magic tricks and juggling, especially for the grandchildren.  He attended many of his grandchildren’s concerts and sporting events and took them sailing.  Harley took flying lessons and loved the thrill of flying his ultra-light plane.  He often attended the Air Show with his son Randy Ekvall or step-son Michael Baka.


He was an avid reader and devoured books and magazines, especially books about history.  Harley has been the model of a hard-working, honest, person.  He was a vivid story teller and told many tales of life on the farm.  Always kind, Harley was loved by all who knew him!

Those Harley leave behind to cherish his memory include his loving wife, Diane; six children, Linda (Mike) Campbell, Randy (Mary) Ekvall, Laurel (Doug) Werhane; Michael (Evelyn) Baka, Mark (Sheila) Baka, and Jackie (Roger) Caplinger; 12 grandchildren: Jake, Rob, Mark, Kevin, Jay, Chris, Shawn, Tyler, Shannon, Kyle, Brett and Keith and 7 great-grandchildren: Kyli, Chase, Logan, Colton, Alexis, Lydia, and Leah.

Harley was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Willard and Wallace Ekvall and a sister, Bonnie Hoekstra.

A memorial service in remembrance of Harlon will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. at the Myrhum Patten Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St, West Bend.

Harlon’s family will greet family and friends at the funeral home Saturday from 2:00 p.m. until the time of service.

Memorial in Harlon’s name can be made to Season’s Hospice, 6737 W. Washington St., West Allis, WI.

The Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Homes have been entrusted with Harley’s arrangements. Additional information and guest book may be found at


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