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Joe Ekelund

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Tom Curtis View Drop Down

Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Location: Fallbrook
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    Posted: 09 Aug 2021 at 3:00pm

Admiral Joe Ekelund, (USN, Ret) (93), former President of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, passed away, from natural causes at home in Monterey, surrounded by family and friends on July 28, 2021. Joe was born in Washington DC, the son of CAPT Kenneth Oscar Ekelund, (USN, Ret) and Marjorie Buscher. He was predeceased by his parents; his brother, CAPT Kenneth Oscar Ekelund Jr. (USN, Ret); his son, John Joseph Ekelund Jr. and his granddaughter, Rebecca Erin Brutzman.

Joe, a kind and humble man, believed in education. He was patient and natural leader, generous with his time and willing to mentor and advise others. He always remarked that he had a charmed life and had many stories about coincidence that landed opportunities and fortune in his lap. He leaves behind his wife of 69 years, Lynn Marie Schumacher. His sister Marjorie Hoeft. His children: Christopher Paul (Michael), Terri Brutzman (Don), Peter Lance (Kellie), Tracy Lindsay (Richard), Tricia and Charles "Kent"; grandchildren: Natalie (Matt), Ashland (John), Hilary, Jessica (Josh), Jacob, John Edward, Sarah, Andrew, Lance, Patrick, Nina, and Annabel; great grandchildren: Gavin, Judah, Walker, Ambrose and Valentina.

In 1944 while living with his maternal grandparents in DC during WWII, Joe graduated Gonzaga H.S. after only three years, he then graduated Columbian Preparatory School in 1945 and entered the U. S. Naval Academy (USNA), graduating class of 1949. His father (1922) and brother (1947) proceeded him in graduating from the USNA. Joe married Lynn in 1952 and over the next two decades they would have seven children, move 25 times and live in nine states; three times in Hawaii where four of their children were born. Joe received a Bachelor's of Science from the USNA, 1949.

During his career he earned a Master's of Science in Systems Analysis, University Rochester, New York, 1969. In 1956 Joe developed a mathematical algorithm which came to be named "The Ekelund Range". This helped revolutionize modern undersea warfare and certainly helped him advance through the ranks to Rear Admiral in 1976. He started his career on a surface ship in Key West, FL, transferring to a minesweeper deployed to North Korea. The USS Pirate was sunk in 1950 during an aggressive minesweeping effort. Joe survived and went on to Submarine School. He served in a variety of submarine jobs on both coasts. He was the XO and CO of two experimental submarines that were retrofitted to operate with Regulus missiles. He earned his master's degree in 1969 and was head of OPNAV's Strategic Warfare Analysis Branch, 1969-1972.

 He served as Chief of Staff Commander Naval Forces, Vietnam, 1972-1973, where he designed and executed the phased withdrawal of Navy and Marine personnel after the 1973 negotiations. He was Commander guided missile cruiser, USS Albany, 1973-1975. Dean Naval War College 1975-1976. Deputy Director Naval Education and Training, CNO Washington 1976-1977. National intelligence officer Central Intelligence Agency 1977-1978. Commander United States South Atlantic Force 1978-1980, President Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Monterey, California 1980-1983 (Retired from the Navy). President California Maritime Academy 1983-1990 (Retired from the State).

Joe and Lynn retired to Monterey in 1990. They have enjoyed family, friends, golf, travel and annual two-week visits to their time-share in Kauai. A service will be held in Monterey at the NPS chapel, St. Thomas Aquinas on 19 August at 1030 and final interment at the U. S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis MD, November 8, starting with a Mass in the Chapel at 2 p.m . To send an online condolence please visit,

USNA[Canberra(CAG-2);Willard Keith(DD-775)];Providence(CLG-6);Sea Robin(SS-407); Nat Greene(SSBN-636B); GMS Dam Neck; Naval Advisory Group,Viet Nam; Okinawa(LPH-3); OIC FLTAC Corona;OIC NWS Fallbrook
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