Memorial services for Elden Wesley, 86, were held Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Uehling. It was concurrent with the service for his sister, Mary Ann Hawkins. His burial was in Oakland Cemetery. He passed away Feb. 1, 2019.
Elden Duane Wesley was born to Adolf and Agnes (Ondracek) Wesley on June 12, 1932. He was raised on his parents’ farm south of Cedar Bluffs, Neb., and graduated from Cedar Bluffs High School. He attended the University of Nebraska and became a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. While at the University, Elden met and fell in love with the woman he would marry—Connie Von Essen. After graduating in 1954 with an ag degree, he enlisted in the Army as a second lieutenant. Elden achieved the officer rank of first lieutenant before receiving an honorable discharge in 1956.
Elden and Connie married on July 10, 1955, at St. Paul’s, Hooper, Neb. In 1956, they moved to Shelby, Neb., where Elden taught ag to farmers on the GI Bill and did custom harvesting.
In 1958 Elden and Connie moved to Benedict, Neb., and began farming east of Benedict. In 1964 Elden and Connie moved to Oakland, Neb., purchasing the farm where Connie grew up from Connie’s parents. Elden ran a successful farming business on the family farm. In 2004, they retired to a house in Oakland.
Elden was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran church in Uehling, teaching Sunday school for years and serving as the chair of the building committee when the current church was built. Elden was actively involved in Nebraska Farm Bureau, serving as president of the Burt County Farm Bureau; and in the Republican Party, serving as the Burt County Republican chairman. Elden was elected as a board member of the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District and served on the board for over 30 years, including three terms as its chair, and one term as the Nebraska State Chair. Elden was widely recognized for his conservation efforts, and won awards for the feedlots he designed and built to minimize runoff and environmental impact long before such measures were required.
Elden enjoyed visiting with his family and friends, and was always quick to lend a hand. He was an avid supporter of the University of Nebraska, and followed its football and volleyball teams. He also enjoyed reading history books and watching public television. Elden learned to play bridge while in college and played the rest of his life. He was always ready for a game of cards, especially a game of Uehling rummy when his grandchildren came to visit. He will be dearly missed.
He was predeceased by his brother, Marvin Wesley, and his sister, MaryAnn Hawkins.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Connie Wesley; his children Nathan (Lisa) Wesley, David (Laurie) Wesley, Annette (John) Shaughnessy and Mia (Aram) Montgomery; and eight grandchildren.
Memorials are suggested St. Paul’s Lutheran Church or the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Pelan Funeral Services was in charge of the arrangements.