Bryce M. Ekern


Bryce M. Ekern, age 97, of Albuquerque, NM, passed away Sunday, February 3, 2019.
Bryce Mark was born in Pipestone, MN to Albert O. and Hazel I. Ekern.  Six months later they moved to Flandreau, SD, where he grew up.  He attended Spafford Grade School, then Flandreau High School where he graduated in 1939.  He enjoyed many sports during this time.  In the fall of 1939, he joined the CCC’s and spent six months in the Black Hills working with a forest ranger.
Bryce was part of the HQ Battery of the 147 Field Artillery of the South Dakota National Guard and was called to active duty on November 25, 1940 going to Fort Ord, CA.  On November 22, 1941, they took him and his equipment to San Francisco, loaded everything on board the Willard A. Holbrook Troop Transport ship headed to the Philippines.  On November 30, 1941, they left Pearl Harbor, and were half way there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Manila.  They were re-routed to Brisbane, Australia where he spent several months training and then supported the 158th Infantry Regiment in battles up the northeast coast of New Guinea, and Islands of Kiriwina Sarmi-Wadke & Noemfoor.  In these battles, he was a radio operator for a forward observer team that went with the point company of the infantry to adjust our artillery fire.  During one of those battles, he was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery.  In January, 1945, he was part of the invasion of the Philippines and again part of the forward observer team.
In June, 1945, he was shipped back to the USA and on July 27, 1945, he was discharged and returned to South Dakota.  In September of 1945, he started college at Iowa State; however, he had spent 3 and 1/2 years in the tropics and did not adjust very well to the cold weather. So that summer he went to Albuquerque, NM and enrolled in the University of New Mexico, where in June, 1949, he graduated with a BS in ME.  He met Mary Du Boi soon after coming to Albuquerque, and on December 23, 1948 they married.  
In February of 1951, Bryce went to work for IBM in Long Beach, CA in their CE Division.  Later he was transferred to IBM’s Federal Systems Division.  He was involved in government contracts with SAC, SAGE, FAA, and NASA.  In 1967, he was IBM’s Launch Computer Manager and was underneath the Apollo 1 launch pad when the rocket blew up and the three Astronauts were killed.  Bryce retired from IBM on October 31, 1981.
Bryce was the Marshall at Puerta Del Sol Golf Course for many years and still played into his middle 90’s.  He lived his later years at Beehive Four Hills in Albuquerque.
He was a mentor and guide to all.  He was kind and generous with his help.  He lived his life with dignity and was faithful to a moral code that gave instead of taking.
He is survived by his daughter: Pauline (Frank) Chenette; one grandson: Mark (Holly) Chenette; one granddaughter: Merilee (Neal) Nelson; great granddaughters: McKenna and Isabella Chenette; great grandson, Neil (Perri) Altomare; great-great granddaughters: Laine and Cole Altomare; brother-in-law: Eloy Romero; sister-in-law: Chris Radosevich; and numerous special nieces and nephews, both in New Mexico and South Dakota.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary and his son, Robert.
His funeral Mass was held Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at Risen Savior Catholic Community in Albuquerque.
Bryce M. Ekern, age 97, of Albuquerque, NM, passed away Sunday, February 3, 2019.
Bryce Mark was born in Pipestone, MN to Albert O. and Hazel I. Ekern.  Six months later they moved to Flandreau, SD, where he grew up.  He attended Spafford Grade School, then Flandreau High School where he graduated in 1939.  He enjoyed many sports during this time.  In the fall of 1939, he joined the CCC’s and spent six months in the Black Hills working with a forest ranger.
Bryce was part of the HQ Battery of the 147 Field Artillery of the South Dakota National Guard and was called to active duty on November 25, 1940 going to Fort Ord, CA.  On November 22, 1941, they took him and his equipment to San Francisco, loaded everything on board the Willard A. Holbrook Troop Transport ship headed to the Philippines.  On November 30, 1941, they left Pearl Harbor, and were half way there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Manila.  They were re-routed to Brisbane, Australia where he spent several months training and then supported the 158th Infantry Regiment in battles up the northeast coast of New Guinea, and Islands of Kiriwina Sarmi-Wadke & Noemfoor.  In these battles, he was a radio operator for a forward observer team that went with the point company of the infantry to adjust our artillery fire.  During one of those battles, he was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery.  In January, 1945, he was part of the invasion of the Philippines and again part of the forward observer team.
In June, 1945, he was shipped back to the USA and on July 27, 1945, he was discharged and returned to South Dakota.  In September of 1945, he started college at Iowa State; however, he had spent 3 and 1/2 years in the tropics and did not adjust very well to the cold weather. So that summer he went to Albuquerque, NM and enrolled in the University of New Mexico, where in June, 1949, he graduated with a BS in ME.  He met Mary Du Boi soon after coming to Albuquerque, and on December 23, 1948 they married.  
In February of 1951, Bryce went to work for IBM in Long Beach, CA in their CE Division.  Later he was transferred to IBM’s Federal Systems Division.  He was involved in government contracts with SAC, SAGE, FAA, and NASA.  In 1967, he was IBM’s Launch Computer Manager and was underneath the Apollo 1 launch pad when the rocket blew up and the three Astronauts were killed.  Bryce retired from IBM on October 31, 1981.
Bryce was the Marshall at Puerta Del Sol Golf Course for many years and still played into his middle 90’s.  He lived his later years at Beehive Four Hills in Albuquerque.
He was a mentor and guide to all.  He was kind and generous with his help.  He lived his life with dignity and was faithful to a moral code that gave instead of taking.
He is survived by his daughter: Pauline (Frank) Chenette; one grandson: Mark (Holly) Chenette; one granddaughter: Merilee (Neal) Nelson; great granddaughters: McKenna and Isabella Chenette; great grandson, Neil (Perri) Altomare; great-great granddaughters: Laine and Cole Altomare; brother-in-law: Eloy Romero; sister-in-law: Chris Radosevich; and numerous special nieces and nephews, both in New Mexico and South Dakota.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary and his son, Robert.
His funeral Mass was held Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at Risen Savior Catholic Community in Albuquerque.
 www.danielsfuneral.com

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