Written by Erren Harter
“One of a kind,” is a massive understatement when talking about Don Ek who passed away on Monday night.
At Larry Kramer’s funeral they talked about “terms of endearment.”
Don Ek had more than his share of “terms of endearment” associated with his name.
First off Don was a great husband, father and Christian. He distinguished himself as a community leader as well giving time to all that ask and volunteered for even more. His success in business is well documented.
Before getting to those “terms of endearment” let me share about my associations with Don. He was a close friend and the father of a couple of boys who thought my concession stand at the old C of E baseball field was there for their enjoyment.
We were competitors, associates and even co-conspirators a few times.
We traveled together many times. Most often to Vegas or Reno, but most memorable for me was our trip to Scotland right after the 9-11 attacks. How we avoided an international crisis on that trip escapes me. Don knows no strangers and THAT can be a problem in a foreign country.
And finally at Lake Kahola where we built a cabin next door to the legendary Ek homestead. We were facing not only a brand new house, but we were new to the lake and we had a new boat. Without Don we might well have sunk the boat and burned the cabin down. The Ek’s were great neighbors. My grandsons knew him as Donsie – a term most women also used. His patience with me and those kids was amazing and when he left the lake, well it wasn’t the same place.
Now let’s talk about some of those “terms of endearment.”
Donsie is at the top of the list, but many of us called him Eeeek sometimes followed by you blank, blank, blank usually after he spilled his beer on the table.
I played a lot of gin and poker with Don Ek and I gave him a name that his poker club buddies remember well. That name was Shakespeare because of his amazing ability with words. NOT!
My son Jamie called him fondly “the old buzzard” and Don responded calling Jamie “buzzard bait.”
Now it was pointed out to me that if “buzzard” was going to be mentioned there were other animals Don had an affinity for also – like chiggers, monkeys and turkeys.
Yes, they definitely broke the mold when they made Don Ek. He lived life at 105 MPH and best of all always made everyone around him feel good about themselves too. He was amazing!
We love you Donsie!
I’m Steve Sauder