Wendell Dale Heim passed away peacefully on January 15th, 2021 at the age of 95 in Vancouver, Washington. His loving family was at his side to help send him to be with the Lord and the loved ones who proceeded him in death. Born October 18th, 1925 in Brookings, South Dakota, he will be reunited in Heaven with his mother and father; Maude Halstead Heim and Corbett Cicero Heim, Wife Tomiko Kibata Heim, and brothers Kenneth, Rodney and Paul. Wendell is survived by his five children: Kathy, Alan, Rebecca, David and John, as well as their spouses Michael, Theresa, Kathleen, Emory, and Gayle. His grandchildren and great grandchildren will miss his warm smile and kind presence at all the family get togethers.
A decorated World War II and Korean War Veteran (Army-First Calvary Division), Wendell was as proud as he was humble in his service to our county and seldom left home without wearing his many caps that revealed his pride and gratitude for what military service gave to him in becoming the man that we all admire and respect. He retired from the Army as a Master Sargent. It was after WWII that Wendell met and married his wife of over 50 years, Tomiko Kibata while stationed in Tokyo, Japan. Their lives were full of wonderful memories of world wide travel, razor clam digging, smoking and canning salmon and vegetables from his garden, entertaining their grandchildren and raising 5 successful children who visited them any time the opportunity presented itself.
Wendell had several hobbies and passions in his life and excelled at each and every one of them. His love for fishing and “catching the big one” took him to several favorite spots along the Columbia River, the Pacific Ocean, Canada and Alaska. He really enjoyed reading, particularly books about our Military Generals and how they went about creating winning battle strategies. His smoked salmon was the best ever and his care and maintenance of his back yard garden produced a bountiful harvest year after year.
Following his Military career, Wendell worked for the Weyerhaeuser carton producing plant as a machine operator for 21 years.
Wendell was a devout Christian who lived his life as a reflection of his beliefs. A source of pride for Wendell was being a student at the “Minneapolis Bible College” now named North Central University in Minneapolis where his brother Kenneth also attended in the early 1940’s. He attended several Lutheran churches over the years, loved to sing hymns and enjoyed attending the Japanese Methodist church where he could sing songs in Japanese and taught Japanese to Sunday School children. Wendell spoke Japanese very well and would infuse Japanese words in almost every conversation we had with him. Everything was “Subarashi and Oishi” (wonderful and delicious).
Wendell Heim will always be remembered by loved ones for his honesty, generosity, love of faith, loving father, devoted husband, and wonderful friend. Wendell is a shining example of someone who despite losing both parents early in his life, and having a particularly tough childhood, made the most of his circumstances and became the man we will forever admire, respect and love dearly. We love you so much dad, rest in peace and we will be reunited with you again in the future.
A private service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Camas. Cards of sympathy/condolences can be sent in care of Kathy Schaeffer, 3704 NE 91st Way, Vancouver, WA 98665. In lieu of flowers, donations in Wendell’s name can be made to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington where he adopted his beloved dog Angel.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Browns Funeral home in Camas. To sign the online guestbook, please visit brownsfh.com. Also, you may share a memory at www.columbian.com/obits.
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