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Debra Ann (Burkstrand) Eckblad, born on July 12, 1957, in Cokato, Minnesota, passed away on September 26, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones. Debra was the cherished daughter of Clifford and Eleanor (Johnson) Burkstrand and grew up on her family farm in Stockholm Township.

Her life was marked by an unwavering love for her family and friends. She found immense joy in the simple pleasures of life, cherishing every moment spent in the company of loved ones. One of her favorite pastimes was having conversations on the phone, connecting with those near and far. She relished the opportunity to gather with friends and family over delicious meals and drinks, fostering cherished memories of togetherness.

Debra had an adventurous spirit and had a passion for travel; a shared enthusiasm with her beloved husband, Greg and friends. Together, they embarked on countless journeys, exploring the beauty of the world. From the sandy beaches of Jamaica to adventures in Central America, they reveled in warm destinations that offered respite from the cold Minnesota winters. Their passports bore the stamps of Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, and many other destinations, all of which they explored hand in hand.

Kind, considerate, and ever-helpful, Debra was a beacon of light to those around her. Her willingness to lend a helping hand and her thoughtful nature left a mark on everyone she encountered. She had a unique ability to make others feel valued and loved; a quality that endeared her to all.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Eleanor; brothers, Darrel and Duane; and sister, Diane Nichols.

Debra is survived by her husband, Greg; brothers, Richard (Gail) and Dennis (Barb); sisters-in-law, Nancy and Darlene; brother-in-law, Charles Nichols; many other relatives and friends; and her beloved pets, Rosie, Lucky and O.B.

A gathering to celebrate Debra’s life will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2023 from 1-4 PM at the Rockford Township Hall. Online condolences for the family may be directed to

12 Guestbook Entries

  1. Kathy Bogatzki

    My heart is so heavy to hear of this. Rest in Peace Deb.💔🙏

  2. Nikky Bisbee

    I have just been told of Debbie’s passing. I am her dental hygienist of many years and so sad to read this. Please know the family is in my heart and prayers. Debbie was a wonderful person and I enjoyed our visit every 6 months. We laughed, cried, and joked our way through the appointments. I have very few words at this time but please know she touched my heart and life like few have. My deepest condolences to the family and Greg. I will miss her greatly.

  3. Sue McWherter Anderberg

    Debra will be missed by many of her classmates.
    Our deepest condolences to her family.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  4. Pennie Lohse Anderson

    So sad to learn of Debbie’s passing. I have many wonderful memories of many great times with Deb!! Debbie was a true sweetheart and dear friend. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to see her for years. I was blessed to have her in my life when I did. She will not be forgotten! My deepest sympathy to Greg and all family and friends of Deb.

    God Bless Debbie’s Memory

  5. Carol Hendrickson Heberling

    I send my deepest condolences to Greg and Deb’s family. I went to school with Deb and we rode the bus together. She was the sweetest girl and I cherish those memories. You will be missed.

  6. Barb Ashfeld

    “In loving memory of Deb,
    I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a dear friend. Deb and I shared countless incredible moments over the years, particularly at the lake. From the joyous celebrations of the 4th of July to the warmth of Christmas gatherings, Deb’s presence always added a special sparkle to these occasions.
    Deb was the life of the party, always full of fun and outgoing spirit. Her laughter and enthusiasm were infectious, and she had a unique talent for turning ordinary moments into extraordinary memories. Whether it was a sunny day by the lake or a cozy evening by the fireplace, Deb made every moment unforgettable.
    As I reflect on the times we spent together, I’m reminded of the deep bond of friendship we shared. Deb’s positive energy and zest for life were truly remarkable, and they left an indelible mark on all who were fortunate to know her.

  7. Laurie Eckblad Anderson

    I’m pretty sure my dad would have said that Deb was fortunate to marry an Eckblad. 🙂 Bonus: she got all the rest of us as part of the deal. Deb handled it well, with laughter. RIP Deb, and peace and love to Cous Greg (Respect, Mon) and the Burkstrand family.

  8. Tonya Tolzien

    Greg, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Deb. Our hearts go out to you and her family. She was such a wonderful friend and great listener, she will be truly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and if you need an ear we are here. My numbers the same. Love to you. Tonya and Dean.

  9. Christine Larsen

    Sincere sympathy to Greg and all of the family. I’m so sorry for your loss.She was lovely. I only wish I had known her better. My fault.

  10. Rachel McCann

    My condolences to the family and friends of Debbie, she was obviously very loved, and a shining star in your lives. I was lucky enough to graduate high school with her.

  11. LaVonne Hegland

    I was so sad to recently hear of Deb’s passing away. I have been Deb’s Hairdresser for the last 35 years and she was always so enjoyable to have come in. She didn’t come in for her last appointment and I had an uncomfortable feeling something was really wrong. Then found out the end of last week that she had passed away. My sincere sympathy goes out to Greg and her family. She was such a fun person with a bright personality!!! Such a great cook too! She definitely touched my life and I will never forget her!! So sad and gone too soon..

  12. Sherry Sundin

    I recently heard of Deb’s passing and I am heartbroken. I first met Deb and Greg in 2010 when Deb messaged me looking for someone to care for her pets while they traveled. The first time I talked with her, her enthusiasm, laughter and happiness was contagious. Her love for her cats was apparent. She described each one in detail, their likes and dislikes and raved on how smart they were. Of course, all cats think they are smart, but Deb’s cats were indeed! And they were so cherished by her.

    Thirteen years later, I was still watching her cats (different ones over the years since some had passed away), every time her and Greg went on one of their adventures. I’d send her cat pictures, she’d send me beach pictures. I think we were both a little jealous of the others’ pictures! I’m so sad that I will never see her name pop up on my caller ID again, I’ll miss hearing her say “Hi Sherry, it’s Debbie Eckblad!” in her laughing, happy voice, then going right into the latest kitty shenanigans. And my heart breaks for Greg. May Deb rest easy with Allie and Jasce and other pets that have experienced her unconditional love throughout the years. ❤️


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