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Gerd Eckhoff Jr., 70

The funeral service for Gerd Henry Eckhoff Jr. of Albert Lea, will be 11 a.m. Monday at the Church of Christ Christian, Albert Lea. The Rev. Mike Gerhardt will officiate. Interment will be in Hillcrest Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Bonnerup Funeral Service 2210 E. Main St., Albert Lea, and one hour before the service at the church. Military honors will be accorded.
Gerd died Wednesday, July 22, 2009, at his home. He was 70 years old.
Gerd was born March 2, 1939, in Sweet Springs, Mo., to Gerd Henry and Lydia (Steffens) Eckhoff. He grew up in Sweet Springs, Mo. Gerd was a Vietnam veteran and served for 10 years in the United States Navy. After his discharge from the Navy he joined the National Guard and retired in 1982 with 26 years of service. Gerd married Judy Kay Stauch on Oct. 8, 1962, in Sweet Springs, Mo. In 1966, they moved to Albert Lea and eventually settled just east of town in a home he rebuilt for his wife and kids. From 1966 to 1999, Gerd worked for Qwest as a service technician. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and recently chose to attend the Church of Christ Christian. Gerd enjoyed woodworking especially candle holders and toy boxes for his grandchildren, restoring his Buick convertible, remodeling their home, watching all sports especially the Twins and Vikings with his family and friends, playing pool, fishing, and his HO scale trains with his custom built buildings and landscapes. Gerd enjoyed big band music and especially dancing with his wife and daughters. Gerd loved to spend time visiting and playing cards with his family and friends. He looked forward to the visits from Warren and Elgene wondering who would have the lucky cards that night.
Gerd is survived by his wife, Judy Eckhoff of Albert Lea; three children: Daniel Eckhoff and his wife Jennifer of Shoreview and child Desiree, Karla Eckhoff and husband Bob Bennett of Maplewood and their children, Emily, Danielle, Kaylie and Jordan, and Barbara Beseman and her husband Kevin of Albert Lea and their children: Zachary and Austin; sisters: Lorine Crane of Sweet Springs, Mo., Ruth Caddell and her husband Melvin of Derby, Kan., Clara Cordes of Booneville, Mo., and May Fangmann and her husband Neal of Oak Grove, Mo.; brother: Russell Eckhoff and his wife Goldie of Hutchinson, Kan.; sister-in-law: Eunice Eckhoff of Concordia, Mo.; brothers-in-law: James “Sonny” Stauch and his wife Ellie of Kingman, Ariz., Nick Stauch and his wife Trixie of Sweet Springs, Mo., Kenneth Stauch and his wife Glori of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Lowell Thompson of Wells; and 38 nieces and nephews.
Gerd is preceded in death by his parents: Gerd and Lydia Eckhoff; brothers: Lawrence Eckhoff and Elmer Eckhoff; sister, Esther Polk; father-in-law, Russell Stauch and mother-in-law, Gladys “Sis” Van Riper Stauch; sisters-in-law: Lillian Eckhoff, Marie Eckhoff and Connie Thompson; brothers-in-law: Woody Rutherford, Junior Crane, Hayward Polk, and Clarence Cordes; nieces: Grace Rutherford and Alma Trotter; nephews: Kenneth Rutherford and Bill Eckhoff.