Wayne Walfred Widholm, loving husband, father and grandfather, died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home on Monday evening, July 12. He was 79 years old.
Wayne was born in St. Paul, MN on December 3rd, 1941 to Ernest and Harriet Widholm. He was the fourth child of six children. He graduated in 1959 from Johnson High School in St Paul. In September of that same year, Wayne followed his sister Beverly and her husband, Dick to Washington state. Dick was able to find a job for him with Chris and Kleora Goehner in Dryden, WA where he worked in an apple orchard for the summer. He moved back to MN for a bit, but realized he would prefer to be in WA. So in Sept 1960 he took a train to Dryden, WA and was taken in by the Goehner family.
Wayne was drafted to join the army and reported to duty in March of 1964. After graduating basic training, he completed an additional training to become a medic. He was then assigned to the 4th Infantry Division based out of Fort Lewis. Soon after, he was assigned to the tank division at Fort Irwin in Barstow, CA. He spent the rest of his time there until he was discharged early on January 24, 1966 to attend Azusa Pacific College for a bit.
He met Carolyn Winter in February 1967 at a group sing for a Sunday school class in Sierra Madre, CA. As they dated, he never ceased to tell her how fortunate she was to have met “Wonderful, Wonderful, Wayne.” (His initials are W.W.W.) Get it? He thought he was so funny. It didn’t take long for an engagement and they were married five months later on July 15th 1967 at a little chapel in Pasadena, CA. They were blessed with three daughters, thereafter.
At the time of their marriage, Wayne worked in the grocery store business until 1975, when he became the manager of a metal stamping company in the LA area. His dream was to work his way back to Washington state. In 1980, he purchased National Church Furnishings, a church furniture manufacturing business, located in Centralia, WA and moved his family from Sierra Madre, CA to Chehalis, WA. He owned and ran that business for 16 years. He turned a dying business into a very successful company with a lot of hard work.
Wayne had a deep love and passion for the lord. In May 1959, he accepted Jesus as his savior through the influence of Dick Erickson, his brother-in-law. He was a faithful servant from that point on. He taught adult Sunday school for several years. After retirement he enjoyed mentoring men and helping them grow in the lord. Most wouldn’t know that he actually had quite a beautiful singing voice. He enjoyed singing with various quartets through the years and in the church choir for many years.
Boy, did he love to golf. It became his favorite pastime sometime in the 1980’s. Since then, he spent countless days out on the course with some of his most beloved friends. Another of his passions was simply reading books. He must have read thousands of books. Way too many to count.
He had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes and make people laugh. He will forever be missed.
Wayne is survived by his wife, Carolyn; daughters, Shelly Bergin (Forrest Bergin), Debbie Bearse (Gordon Bearse, Christi Anderson (Scott Anderson); And his grandchildren, Abrea Bergin, JD Bergin, Kaeden and Brady Bearse, and Kylie, Nate and Brynlee Anderson; Sister, Audrey; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Terry Widholm; and sisters, Beverly Erickson, Judy Olinger, and Jeanne Morrow.
Date and time for Public viewing at Newell-Hoerling’s funeral home will be announced shortly. Private graveside service with an open celebration of life will be held in September.