Harold Kenneth Wedel
Our father, Harold Kenneth Wedel passed away Sept. 11, 2021, at the Boundary County Hospital in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, reaching the age of 90 years. His death was caused by complications of pneumonia. Dad was born July 23, 1931, to Vernon and Bertha (Jantz) Wedel in Copeland, Kan.
At the age of 4, in the spring of 1936, Dad journeyed to Boundary County, Idaho, together with his parents, two aunts, one uncle and their families, beginning a new life leaving the dust storms of Kansas behind.
Dad grew to manhood on a dairy farm north of Bonners Ferry. He received his education at the McKinley school attending eight grades, often walking two miles to school. At the age of 12, Dad accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and was baptized March 3, 1944, into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, remaining a lifelong, faithful member until his death.
In 1951, Dad, with Dale Dirks traveled to Winton, Calif., to work for G & M Manufacturing, boarding with Frank and Edna Giesbrecht. While in California, he became acquainted with our mother, Jane Wedell. They were joined in marriage on Nov. 27, 1952, by John Esau in Winton, Calif., and shared 64 years together. After their wedding, they settled in Bonners Ferry renting a house in town. Mom and Dad purchased 10 acres along Highway 2 establishing the home place, building first a two-room cottage and later a house to accommodate the growing family. This is where our five brothers were born and reared. We are thankful for Dad’s example and teaching of his principles of honesty and integrity.
Dad was first employed at the Ellersick sawmill, later becoming self-employed as a carpenter and contractor. He was in partnership with Glenn R. Jantz until his passing in 1968. He continued with the construction trade, together with his sons until 2001 when he retired and built a new home on his small farm. Dad occupied his time in growing hay, grain and various other hobbies.
Dad and Mom volunteered their time as house parents for Christian Public Service boys unit in Fillmore and Yuba City, Calif., later helping with a new church building in Orville, Calif.
A special highlight for the family was when Dad took us all to Alaska on the Alaska Marine Highway through the Inside Passage in August 2008.
Dad’s failing eyesight during his last years was a great disappointment to him, especially after Mom’s passing in 2017 when she could no longer be his eyes. He impressed us with his determination and ingenuity in coping with this handicap, seldom complaining.
As his days drew to a close, Dad’s faith in his Savior for his salvation never wavered. We, as a family, mourn his passing and have many precious memories. We are thankful for the excellent care at Boundary County Hospital during Dad’s last days.
He is survived by five sons and their wives, Kurt and Doreen, Russell Spring, Kentucky, Randal and Leanna, Denton and Carolyn, Cecil and Lisa, Bonners Ferry, and Ivan and Marla, Coeur’d Alene, Idaho; two sisters, Lois Johnson and Loretta Dyck, Bonners Ferry; three sisters-in-law, Erma Unruh, Sharon Springs, Kansas, Mary Wedell, Auburn, Calif., and Phyllis Wedell, Bonners Ferry; 17 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, his parents, parents-in-law, one brother, one sister, eight brothers-in-law, four sisters-in-law and one great-grandson.
A viewing will be held from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at Bonners Ferry Funeral Home. On Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, funeral services will be held at Mountain View Mennonite Church in Bonners Ferry at 11 a.m.
Bonners Ferry Funeral Home is caring for the family. To leave a message or memory for the family, please go to www.bonnersferryfuneralhome.com.