Obituary: Fred Wessel


Fred Carl Wessel III, 88, of Eldridge, died Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House after a brief battle with stomach cancer.  A private family funeral service will be held at Weerts Funeral Home.  Friends and family were encouraged to celebrate Fred’s life at the The Outing Club from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6.  Inurnment will be at the National Cemetery, Rock Island Arsenal.

Fred was born June 20, 1931, on the family farm in Eldridge, to Fred and Cornelia Wessel.  He graduated from Davenport High School in 1949. After graduation, he purchased a Farmall M tractor and a John Deere baler and started his own custom baling business.  In 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as an airplane mechanic during the Korean War.  He then returned to farming. On March 6, 1965, at St. John’s Methodist Church, he married Donna Jean Stewart.  Fred farmed for the rest of his life giving his helpful advice to his son until the end.  He was a member of the Eldridge Volunteer Fire Department for over 25 years, turned every occasion into a party, was known for his beautiful yard and flowers and enjoyed boating and wintering in Florida.  His family will lovingly remember his motto, “If we all work together it will only take an hour.” 

Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Donna; children, Connie (Mark) Heflin of Fort Wayne, Ind., Brian (Heather) Wessel of Long Grove; his four grandchildren Jack Heflin, Nate Heflin, Olivia Wessel, and Cole Wessel.  Fred is also survived by his sister Edith Hiler, Rock Island, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Earl Wessel, sister-in-law, Donna Wessel, and brother-in-law, Doug Hiler.

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