Obituary: Gerald R. “Jerry” Eklund

March 8, 1946 — September 16, 2019

Gerald R. “Jerry” Eklund.
Gerald R. “Jerry” Eklund.

Gerald R. “Jerry” Eklund, 73, passed away Sept. 16, 2019 at Providence Alaska Medical Center. Services are pending and will be announced later. His cremains will be buried next to his son, Eric, in Cordova.

Jerry was born March 8, 1946 in Anaconda, Montana. He graduated from Eureka High School in Eureka, California. While there, he was awarded the best all-around gymnast of Northern California. Jerry honorably served in the US Navy as a submariner aboard the USS Tiru. He was a certified diver and a torpedo man. After serving in the US Navy from 1965 to 1969, Jerry moved to Alaska in 1975. He married Alison Sleighter on Sept. 6, 1991; the couple lived in Cordova, Alaska until 2013. They moved to Bend, Oregon for a short time and then back to Alaska, living in Anchorage until Jerry’s passing. He was self-employed as a commercial fisherman, primarily in the Cordova area. At times, he also ran tender, crab fished, seined and long lined. In 2012, he retired due to ailing health.

While living in Cordova, Jerry served as a deacon for the Cordova Community Baptist Church, and while living in Anchorage he attended Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. He loved sport fishing and hunting, but if he wasn’t outdoors, you could find him watching his children play basketball or his grandson, Gunnar, wrestle.  

The family said, “Jerry came to Alaska in 1975, and loved it so much he never left! He really enjoyed people and meeting new ones. He also loved to talk and share his knowledge — if you did have the time! He was greatly loved and will be missed by all who knew him.”

Jerry is survived by his wife, Alison Eklund, Anchorage; daughter, Jennifer (Marvis) Kildow; grandchildren Marissa and Zane Kildow, all of Fairbanks; step-son, Jason Barnes; step-daughter, Teresa Barnes; step-granddaughter, Nadia Hoffhines; step-grandson, Gunnar Davis, all of Cordova; sister-in-law, Rhonda Sleighter, Anchorage; brothers-in-law, Steven Sleighter (wife, Annie), Anchorage, and Tony Nicolo, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Lois Eklund; brother, Darrel Eklund; sister, Donna Eklund, and beloved son, Eric Gardner Eklund.

In lieu of flowers, Jerry asked that donations be made to the Cordova Pounders Wrestling Team for their traveling expenses. Please make checks payable to Cordova Pounders Wrestling c/o Coach Nate Taylor, P.O. Box 2351 Cordova, Alaska 99574.

Arrangements entrusted to Cremation Society of Alaska. Words of comfort may be shared with the family at alaskacremation.com.