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DeWayne Lee Wedel
October 11, 1927 ~ June 22, 2017
June 26, 2017
DeWayne Lee Wedel was born to Vernon and Bertha Jantz Wedel on October 11, 1927, in Copeland, Kansas. He passed into eternity on June 22, 2017, reaching the age of 89 years.

Funeral services were held on June 26, 2017, at Mt. View Congregation, Bonners Ferry, Idaho, with Ministers Willis Dyck, Ben Nystrom, Shane Ensz, Glenn Ensz, and David Koehn officiating. Burial was in the adjoining church cemetery.

Dad's early childhood was spent in Kansas, years flavored with the dust of those historic years. He recalls his mother hanging sheets on the windows to catch the dirt. A rope was strung from the house to the barn, to use as a guide to the barnyard so they wouldn't get lost during times of low visibility caused by the dark rolling dust clouds.

In 1936 the Vernon Wedel family moved away from Copeland, Kansas, traveling with two aunts and one uncle with their spouses and young families. The children each had a cousin or two of their own age to play with enhancing this new venture. They headed west to California first and then north to Bonners Ferry, arriving May 9.

This is where they made their new home.

They loved the clean air, yet felt startled at times when looking up they saw a great hulking darkness on the horizon. Another dust storm rolling in? At second glance, they breathed easier. Just the dark blue mountains rooted to the earth and not blowing anywhere.

DeWayne grew up in Bonners Ferry. Here an important choice was made to live his life for God. He was baptized into the Church of God in Christ Mennonite. He later supported his children following the Faith as well.

During the war years he gave service in CCC Camps in Terry, Montana, and Maryland. Next he tried logging in Springfield, Oregon, where he met Eugenia (Jean) Rosin. Their wedding followed in Missoula, Montana. They had four sons and one daughter.

To provide a living for his family, he worked for Pinky McDonald, becoming one of the best cat skinners around. The booming logging industry had need of these men for building many roads. Also he tried his hand at fighting forest fires. That was hot work of course, but in fall it was cold at night in the thin sleeping bags provided. Boughs of tree were cut to try to make a decent bed. One meal a day was deemed sufficient provision.

In 1964 Dad decided to move his growing family from Missoula to Bonners Ferry because he didn't want them growing up in the city environment. Our folks took over the Vernon Wedel farmstead, moving into Grandpa and Grandma Wedel's home place.

Here there was much hard work to be done on the dairy. His young sons were given the opportunity to learn to work hard also. They were given tools and a wide berth in which to experiment. This learning by trial and error is seen as an invaluable gift that left mostly good memories.

He became one of the charter members of the Bee Line Water Association. His fishing adventures with family and friends could fill a small book. He loved to travel, loved the mountains, loved to take on new adventures.

At age 60, he got his pilot's license, which widened his horizons considerably.

Dad loved people and had a kind and generous heart. His children felt the shelter of his love and care for them and will miss him a lot. They remember him as giving sound direction when they sought his advice. The grandchildren were special to him and he put forth efforts to spend time with them.

Dad had a stroke in March, 2017. After weeks of therapy, the children brought him home and cared for him until the end. Although he had his struggles in life, his heart was soft and a change for the better was felt in him during his last days.

With respect and love his children and extended family mourn his passing: Deborah Wedel, Missoula, Montana, Michael Wedel, Douglas Wedel, Derwin Wedel, all of Bonners Ferry, Rodney and Marsha Wedel and their two children Mikayla Wedel and Wyndell Wedel of Tonasket, Washington; one brother Harold Wedel, two sisters Loretta and Edwin Dyck, Lois Johnson, all of Bonners Ferry, one brother-in-law Ronnie Rosin of Portland, Oregon, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, one two-year old sister Laura Lou Wedel, and one sister-in-law.