Gerald “Chub” Gark Wessels Sr., Nov. 29, 1932 — July 23, 2013, long-time resident of Cherokee, Okla.
After a courageous four-year battle with health issues, Gerald passed away peacefully at the Cherokee Manor. Gerald was born and raised on the farm that his parents owned three and one-half miles west of Cherokee and attended public school there.
His passion for farming and taking care of the land and livestock was an inspiration for everyone that he met in his 80 years. The only thing he loved more was his Saviour Jesus Christ and his love of his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends.
He was one of eight children born to the late Ado and Mary Wessels and was the beloved husband of Ila Wessels for over 60 years.
Gerald was cherished by his devoted brothers, Gark Wessels, Bill Wessels, George Wessels and Ado Wessels Jr.; loving sisters, Grace Potter, Anna Davis and Mary Erskine; beloved children, Gerald and Teresa Wessels, David and Tina Wessels, Everett Wessels, Ado Mark and Teresa Wessels, and Marla and Mike Klassen; treasured grandchildren, Candace and Bobby Hunter, Jeremy and Allison Wessels, Jason and Jen Wessels, Eric Wessels, Sandi Wessels, Mandi and Ryan Treadwell, Melanie and Joe Claborn, Thomas Wessels, Shandi and Colton Roesener, Brittany and Zack Cranor and Shay Klassen; precious great-grandchildren, Chase, Blaine and Shelby Hunter, Georgia, Rebekah and Jonah Wessels, Ellie Wessels, Porter and Ada Claborn, Wyatt DeVore, and Cayden Stacey; along with countless other friends and family who were blessed to know him.
Gerald grew up in Cherokee and attended public school until ninth grade, when he left school to help his brother, Ado, build his house.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour at the age of 12 and maintained a life of servitude in the church, where he served in various capacities through his life of service to Christ (being elected to deacon emiritus.) It was also in the church that he saw a beautiful young lady in the choir. Ila later became his wife, before he went into service of our country.
Gerald was drafted into the Army in April 1953, during the Korean conflict. While in basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, he was selected for leadership training and upon completion served overseas in Germany. When he was not on military manoeuvres, they traveled Europe. He reached the rank of Corporal and received the National Defense Service Medal. He excelled in the military, and it became one of his most cherished memories.
Upon coming home, he and Ila took up the family business of farming and it was his passion. He had his hands full with five children, but always had time to invent and build items to keep them busy. He also spent a lot of time with his children and others volunteering for 4-H, FFA, various other school activities.
One of the most amazing things he did was invent and build ways to make farming better. One invention that he made, years later, became a common tool of the trade.
Gerald was an incredible man and is a continuing role model of Christianity and church service, love of family and friends, patriotism and community service, and hard work and dedication to the career of farming. Gerald touched the lives of many people with his smile, compassion and generosity, and maintained his passion for living life to the fullest, all the way to the end.
Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday, July 26, 2013, at at First Christian Church of Cherokee, with Rev. Tom Stanley and Dr. Gerald Wessels Jr. officiating. Burial will follow in Short Springs Cemetery on Highway 64, near Alva. Visitation will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, with family present 6-8 p.m. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home Inc., Cherokee.
Memorials may be made through the funeral home to Midway Class or CWF at Cherokee First Christian Church.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.lan manmemorials.com.
(Submitted by family)