The Obit For Jim Ekstrom

James (Jim) Ronald Ekstrom
1929-2011

Published in Eugene Register-Guard on December 31, 2011

James (Jim) Ronald Ekstrom, 82, a long-time resident of Eugene, Oregon and most recently of Naples, Florida, died December 8, 2011 in Naples, Florida. A memorial service is being planned for sometime in the spring in Oregon.

Mr. Ekstrom was born September 3, 1929 in Portland, Oregon to Lloyd and Lillian Ekstrom. He attended Lincoln High School in Portland before moving to Eugene. Jim graduated from Eugene High School in 1947 where he played baseball as a pitcher. After high school, he attended the University of Oregon where he was a member of the championship bowling team and a pitcher for the baseball team. Concurrently, from 1950 to 1952 he pitched for the Eugene Larks, a Pittsburgh Pirates farm club. He also served in the Oregon National Guard from 1948 to 1956. In 1952, Jim married Betty-Coe Rilea and of that union had two children, Kathy and Jon.

Professionally, Jim started his career in 1954 with Richfield Oil Company, subsequently ARCO, as the office manager in Eugene. He spent a year at their corporate office in Los Angeles in 1964-65 as a programmer and systems analyst. After honing these skills, he returned to Oregon, leaving ARCO for a start-up company, Oregon Total Information Systems (OTIS) and helped usher in the computerized era of state-wide data processing for Oregon?s secondary schools. After more than 20 years with OTIS, he retired in 1987 as its Assistant Director, remaining on as a consultant through 1988.

In 1984, Jim met Jane Farley and after a long courtship, they married in 1996. Besides enjoying playing golf together, Jim and Jane discovered a love of motorhome life and enjoyed many trips to California and Arizona in the winters, as well as spending time at the Oregon Coast.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jane, two children, Kathy Ekstrom McCarty of Huntington Beach, California and Jon Ekstrom of Eugene, Oregon, and three step-children, Linda Simpson and Dan Bilek, both of Naples, Florida and Chris Bilek of Harwich, Massachusetts. He is also survived by seven grandchildren.

A U of O graduate, Jim was a lifelong Ducks fan. In addition to baseball and bowling, Jim was an avid rain or shine golfer, tournament bridge player, and ATV enthusiast. He was known and loved by many and always found the good in people.

Jim?s outlook on life and admonition to his family and friends was always to ?take time each day to smell a rose.? Donations may be sent to Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene.

Please sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacyProfessionally, Jim started his career in 1954 with Richfield Oil Company, subsequently ARCO, as the office manager in Eugene. He spent a year at their corporate office in Los Angeles in 1964-65 as a programmer and systems analyst. After honing these skills, he returned to Oregon, leaving ARCO for a start-up company, Oregon Total Information Systems (OTIS) and helped usher in the computerized era of state-wide data processing for Oregon's secondary schools. After more than 20 years with OTIS, he retired in 1987 as its Assistant Director, remaining on as a consultant through 1988.

In 1984, Jim met Jane Farley and after a long courtship, they married in 1996. Besides enjoying playing golf together, Jim and Jane discovered a love of motorhome life and enjoyed many trips to California and Arizona in the winters, as well as spending time at the Oregon Coast.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jane, two children, Kathy Ekstrom McCarty of Huntington Beach, California and Jon Ekstrom of Eugene, Oregon, and three step-children, Linda Simpson and Dan Bilek, both of Naples, Florida and Chris Bilek of Harwich, Massachusetts. He is also survived by seven grandchildren.

A U of O graduate, Jim was a lifelong Ducks fan. In addition to baseball and bowling, Jim was an avid rain or shine golfer, tournament bridge player, and ATV enthusiast. He was known and loved by many and always found the good in people.

Jim's outlook on life and admonition to his family and friends was always to "take time each day to smell a rose." Donations may be sent to Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene.