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Published: Friday, 7/2/2004

Phone company officer in Sycamore helped form EMS

SYCAMORE, Ohio - Marge Ekleberry, 65, a co-owner, treasurer, and a member of the board of directors of the Sycamore Telephone Co. and the Sycamore Cellular Telephone Co. who 30 years ago was instrumental in forming the local emergency medical service, died of cancer Wednesday in her home here.

"She loved to help the community. She loved helping people," her husband of 47 years, Richard Ekleberry, said.

Her daughter, Debra Lee, said she remembered her mother as a happy person who was loved by others. "She was the best mother, and she was very forgiving," Ms. Lee went on to say.

Mrs. Ekleberry, a native of Bellefontaine, Ohio, graduated from the former Sycamore High School in 1956 and later that year married Mr. Ekleberry. She worked as an office clerk for the former Sterling Grinding Wheel Co., Tiffin, for five or six years.

About 1973, she was instrumental in establishing the Sycamore EMS unit, became one of its charter members, and from the late 1970s through 1987 was its captain.

Since the mid-1980s, Mrs. Ekleberry was treasurer, co-owner, and a member of the board of directors of Sycamore Telephone Co. and Sycamore Cellular Telephone Co.

In her free time, Mrs. Ekleberry enjoyed bowling, tending wild flowers in her garden, and attending NASCAR races. She also loved music, played piano, and liked to travel in the family's motor home.

Mrs. Ekleberry was a member of Sycamore United Methodist Church, where at different times she played piano and organ and conducted the children's choir.

Surviving are her husband, Richard; daughters, Debra Lee and Pamela Leeth; son, Steve Ekleberry; brother, Raymond Wallace, Jr.; sisters, Marcella McCoy and Lorraine Wallace, and eight grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Walton-Moore Funeral Home, Sycamore, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the Mohawk Community Library, Hospice of Wyandot County, or the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the American Diabetes Association.

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