Cover photo for Julie A. Ekstam Lyle's Obituary
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1945 Julie 2022

Julie A. Ekstam Lyle

June 29, 1945 — October 4, 2022

Julie A. Ekstam Lyle, 77, died unexpectedly on October 4, 2022 in her home. Born June 29, 1945 in Cambridge, MN, daughter of Carl A. and Marilie Hoff Ekstam. Graduated from Mankato, MN High School and Mankato State University. She began her creative career as an art teacher in Minnesota. After getting married and making several moves around the country, she and her family moved to Rockford in 1978. Julie then became an accomplished and well-known artist, a painter working mostly in acrylics. She was very involved with the 317 Market Street Studio and the Rockford Art Scene along with having many of her paintings hanging in homes and offices around Rockford and Chicago, and her art was purchased by collectors nationwide. She was also the co-author of a book, “Now What?” which addressed the issue of the business side of art.

While art was a huge part of who she was, she considered herself a mom first. She was the “cool mom” who used her artistic abilities to relate to her sons and their friends. She loved her family with all of her heart and held a special place in her heart for her black lab, Grizz. Julie married her love, Greg Lyle, in 1990.

Survivors include her sons, Nathan Payne and Adam (Amy) Payne; sister Betzy Ekstam (Chris Schranz); brothers, Rick (Sandi) Ekstam, Bob (Francine) Ekstam, Dave (Cynthia) Ekstam and Keith (Sue) Ekstam; first husband Gary Payne, several nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. Predeceased by her parents, her husband Greg Lyle in 1995, and her beloved Grizz.

No services will be held at this time, the family will notify loved ones of any future gatherings. Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel assisted the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Julie’s name to Noah’s Ark or PAWS. Send condolences and share memories at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Julie A. Ekstam Lyle, please visit our flower store.


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