HOWARD HENRY WEIDENBACH
Howard passed away on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at the age of ninety. He was born to Henry and Genevra Weidenbach at their home on April 15, 1921. He grew up on the family dairy farm at West Beach, Whidbey Island, WA. He was a great-grandson of the pioneer, Dr. John Coe Kellogg, the “Canoe Doctor.”
One of Howard’s earliest memories was having his grandmother, Lillian Kellogg, as his first grade teacher at Cornet School. He remembered winning a blue ribbon for judging Holstein heifers at the Pacific Livestock Exhibition in Portland, Oregon, and believed he was destined to be a dairy farmer. He graduated from oak Harbor high School in 1939.
Howard and Gladys Hanby Bachison were married in November 1947 and he became “Daddy” to Gladys’ little girl, Marsha. In 1948 they moved to Birdsview, near Concrete. His son, Mark, was born in 1949. Howard farmed and worked in a shake mill until May 1953. The family then moved back to Whidbey and farmed near Deception Pass. For three years Howard also worked in the Producer’s Co-op Hardware Store.
In the spring of 1955 he and Gladys bought a home in Oak Harbor, where Howard worked for Shell Oil for twenty years. He then worked as Island County Building Inspector for twelve years and retired in January 1987.
Howard learned to love fly fishing from his father-in-law, Ernie Hanby, and they never missed fishing on Opening Day in the Upper Skagit streams.
Howard was a member of the First United Methodist Church for many years, until he and Gladys became charter members of the Oak Harbor Presbyterian Church. When Gladys became ill, he devoted his life to her care. She died in 1997.
Howard served as president for many of the twenty-five years he was a member of the Juan de Fuca Grange. He became an active member of the Oak Harbor Lions Club in 1956 and was presented with a Life Membership in 1998.
He loved music and dancing. He met Renee deLeuze at the oak Harbor Senior Center and they married on Valentine’s Day in 1998.
Howard, his family and friends looked forward to celebrating his ninetieth birthday. A few days before the party, however, he fell and broke his hip.
Howard will be remembered for being a generous, kind and good friend. He was a fun-loving guy who always had a good joke to share.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gladys; daughter Marsha and sister Marge Davis. He will be missed by his wife Renee; his son Mark, and daughter-in-law, Laurann; granddaughter, Angie (Mark) Elliott of Kentucky; grandsons, Kyle (Adrianne) of Florida; Curtis (Dawn) Shumate of Oak Harbor; Ken (Lori) Shumate of Spokane; and ten grandchildren; also, his brothers and their wives, Eldon (Chloe) and Terry of Ellensburg; Peter (Jan) in California; Ray (Cathy) in Oregon; and his sister, Avis (George) Rector of Oak Harbor; special friend and sister-in-law, Louise Wright; nieces, nephews, cousins, many friends in the Lions Club, and schoolmates.
A Memorial Service will be Saturday, June 11, 2011, 1:00 p.m., at Whidbey Presbyterian Church, Pastor David Templin officiating. Memorials are suggested to the Lions Club, c/o Jim Trask, 3063 N. Oak Harbor Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.