James Fred Wehde

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June 2, 1933 ~ October 24, 2020

James Wehde, 87, Garretson, died Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the Centerville Care and Rehab Center from Covid-19.

Visitation will be 5-7pm, Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at Heartland Funeral Home. Social Distancing and masks are requested. Funeral services will begin at 1pm Wednesday, October 28, also at Heartland.  Due to Covid restrictions, only 75 persons will be allowed to attend the service. Burial will be at Swedona Covenant Church Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Swedona Covenant Church in James’ memory. 

James Fred Wehde was born June 2, 1933, to Herbert and Myrtle (Eggers) Wehde, on the farm where he still resided. He attended Eggers Country School and graduated from Brandon High School in 1951. James purchased the Eggers School and in 1993 donated it to the Heritage Park at Augustana University.

James married Violet Nordstrom on September 12, 1953, at Swedona Covenant Church.  The couple had two sons, Jon Fred and James Dean.  James was employed as a hired farm hand and at Swenson’s Plumbing and Heating. He later operated a corn sheller within the region for many years.  James started his dairy with two cows and ended it with seventy.  Eventually he changed over to crop farming with his son, Jim. James was very mechanical and could easily repair or modify the machinery.  He loved to help by driving the combine or the grain semi when he could. He was an inventor with several patents.  James also was a realtor/broker with Northfield Realty.

James found time around his farming and realty business to serve in many boards including: Swedona Church as Chairman, the Swedona Cemetery, Mapleton Township, Brandon Valley School, Union Gospel Mission, Eggers School Guild, Nordland Heritage Foundation, and the SD American Agriculture Movement.  James also loved to read as a pastime, was a licensed pilot for a 172 Cessna, and was an avid collector of old tractors.

James will be deeply missed by his wife of 67 years, Vi; two sons, Jon (Lisa), Eagle River, AK, and Jim (Deb), Sioux Falls; six grandchildren, Carolyn (Arie) Koster, Carman, Manitoba, Canada, Barbara (Nathan) Swenson, Afton, MN, Emily (Dallas) Harder, Sioux Falls, Brendan (Julia) Wehde, Goldsboro, NC, Cecilia Wehde, Anchorage, AK, and Dawn Wehde, Nome, AK; and one sister, Bonnie Bly, Garretson and also special friends Mavis and Laura Moret, and Kathy (K.C) Wehde. 

James is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Myrtle (Eggers) Wehde; one brother and his wife, Harlan and (Dorothy) Wehde; and one brother-in-law, Jerry Bly.

We gratefully thank the care team at Centerville Care and Rehab for the kind care they gave James.

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  • Dennis Webber says:

    Vi, Jon, Jim and James’ family,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time of Jim’s home going. He was such a wise and strong mentor to so many
    seminary student pastors and their wives at Swedona, including Loretha and me. Jim was such an interesting, multi-talented person, who jumped heartily into his many interests and projects. Most importantly, Jim knew Jesus Christ as His personal Savior and Lord, and he is with Him now. Jim was a godly man who loved and served his family, church and community. He was knowledgeable and perceptive on many subjects, and was willing, even eager, to share his insights. Jim and Vi have had a lasting impact on Loretha and my ministry and lives, and for this we are eternally grateful.
    John 11:25,26
    Pastor Dennis and Loretha Webber

  • Gene V Hetland says:

    Our deep sympathy to Vi and the Wehde family in Jim’s death. He was a good man, and Sharon and I always liked seeing and talking with him. He will always live in the hearts and memories of those who knew him. May God be with you as you grieve, and may your faith and your memories sustain you.

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