Dr. Merlyn Edward Eckelberg 

Beloved father of three, devoted husband of Jean, Dr. Merlyn Edward Eckelberg of Lakeland, Fla., went to be with the Lord, surrounded by family and friends, on June 6, 2018.

Merlyn was born in Wilton, Wis., on Nov. 18, 1937, to Albert George Eckelberg and Almeda Tonn Eckelberg. He grew up in the small farming community of Wilton and attended Wilton Elementary School and Wilton High School, graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1955. In high school, Merlyn also excelled in athletics, lettering in both baseball and basketball. He married his childhood sweetheart, Jean Hamilton Dott, in December 1958. 

Merlyn graduated with a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1960. He earned his M.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1964. While in medical school, he was selected by Dr. Robert F. Schilling, a renowned medical researcher, to work in his laboratory. Merlyn did his internship at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., from 1964 to 1965, and then completed a radiology residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., from 1965 to 1968. He then joined the U.S. Army in 1968 and was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone at Gorgas Hospital. After receiving his certification from the American Board of Radiology in 1969, Merlyn was honorably discharged with the rank of major in September 1971. 

Merlyn joined the Watson Clinic on Oct. 11, 1971, at which time the Eckelberg family moved to Lakeland. He served as a member of the Watson Clinic’s executive committee and chair of the department of radiology from 1991 to 2004. He was a member of the American College of Radiology and the Florida State Radiological Society. Merlyn also served as an elder and a Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland. 

What leisure time he had from his busy medical practice, Merlyn spent with his beloved family and especially enjoyed his vacations with them at the beach. Golf also gave him relaxation and refreshment, as well as games of bridge and cribbage with family and friends. Upon his retirement, he looked forward to the weekly meetings of the Retired Doctors Coffee Group, at which the men take turns presenting a lecture of interest to the members. 

Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean; his daughter, Lori Sullivan of Satellite Beach; his son, Brett (Connie So) of Seattle, Wash.; and his son Todd (Kristin) of Madison, Wis. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Katherine Dale (Garrison), Caroline Kubin (Daniel), and Courtney Sullivan of Satellite Beach; Han Eckelberg and Wen Eckelberg of Seattle; and Erica Eckelberg and Ella Eckelberg of Madison. 

He is also survived by his sister, Carol Ann Osteboe (Harlow “Bud”) of Wilton, and two nephews, Thor Osteboe (Megan) of Minneapolis and Paul Osteboe of Wilton. 

Merlyn’s family is eternally grateful to the many dear friends who went above and beyond to pray, care for, and spend time with him and Jean during his long, courageous battle against a series of health challenges. They are all the living embodiment of God’s love. 

Merlyn will be remembered for his kindness and gentleness to all with whom he came in contact. 

The family would like to thank the Watson Clinic physicians and staff, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Good Shepherd Hospice, and Lakeland Highlands Nursing Home for their wonderful care and support. We would also like to thank Lin, Jeanette, Kathy, Lindsey, and Lee for their loving care. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to The Good Samaritan’s Fund at First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland (175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801) and The Bethany Center (105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823). 

A memorial service will take place at First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801 at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. 

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com.

Comments are closed.

  • Larry Dean Wright

    June 22nd, 2018
    by

    Larry Dean Wright, 63, of Kendall and formerly of Wilton died Wednesday, June 20, 2018, at his home.


    Lucille Fern Delaney

    June 21st, 2018
    by

    Lucille Fern Delaney, 89, passed away Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Rolling Hills Rehab Center, Special Care Home, in Sparta.


    Elizabeth G. “Betty” Flock

    June 16th, 2018
    by

    Elizabeth G. “Betty” Flock, 95, of Wilton passed away Thursday, June 14, 2018, at the Serenity House in Tomah, surrounded by her family.


    Lawrence “Larry” James Sendra

    June 7th, 2018
    by

    Lawrence “Larry” James Sendra, 68, of rural Ontario passed away at his home Monday, May 28, 2018.


    Robert Walter Gernetzke

    May 30th, 2018
    by

    Robert Walter Gernetzke, 87, went to live in his heavenly home Tuesday, May 29, 2018.


  • Sherry L. Tracy

    May 30th, 2018
    by

    Sherry L. Tracy, 72, of Reedsburg, formerly of Elroy, passed away at SSM Health Hospice Center on Sunday, May 27.


    Joyce Marie Downing

    May 24th, 2018
    by

    Joyce Marie Downing, 82, of Norwalk passed away peacefully Monday, May 14, 2018, at Norseland Nursing Home in Westby, Wis., surrounded by her family.


    Aileen Lou Anne Steinolfson-Luethe

    May 24th, 2018
    by

    Aileen Lou Anne Steinolfson-Luethe, 68, of Norwalk died Tuesday, May 22, 2018, after a fierce fight with cancer, at Gundersen Health System Hospital in La Crosse.


    Bernard L. Arndt

    May 21st, 2018
    by

    Bernard L. Arndt, 87, of Wilton, died Saturday, May 19, 2018, at his home. 


    Brad S. Zimmerman

    May 18th, 2018
    by

    Brad S. Zimmerman, 44, of Hillsboro died Friday, May 11, 2018, at his home.


    Giustina “Gus” Budde

    May 8th, 2018
    by

    Giustina “Gus” Budde, 94, of Ontario passed away Saturday, March 31, 2018, at Milestone Senior Living in Hillsboro, surrounded by her family.


  • [Advertisement.]
  • Local Weather

  • [Advertisement.]
  • [Advertisement.]
  • Archives