Weldon M. Henrichs, 98, of Sheldon, passed away on Friday, April 2, 2021, at Care & Rehab-Ladysmith.
Weldon was born on July 1, 1922, in Diller, Neb., which is near the Kansas border. In 1936 at the start of the great dust bowl era, his father packed up the entire family, they left their farm and followed friends to the green acres of Rusk County, Wisconsin. They first settled near Conrath and then eventually to a farm near Sheldon.
He graduated from Tony High School in 1940, after which time he and a friend road-tripped across the west to California, working at various farms along the way. Once back home, when playing pool at the Curve Inn in Conrath they heard the announcement that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Upon hearing that, Weldon immediately enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving from 1942 until 1946.
After basic training, he was stationed near the Arctic Circle at Churchill, Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada of which was highly confidential. While there, he manned a team of husky sled dogs, thus earning the nickname of “Mush”.
From there he later landed in Mississippi and Florida for airplane flight training along with special schooling at a college in West Virginia. When he was about to be shipped overseas, World War II ended on Sept. 2, 1945. So after four years of service, in early 1946, Weldon returned to Sheldon, upon which he bought his own farm.
On Oct. 30, 1946, he married Frances Sterba and together they farmed, raising dairy cattle, beef, and pigs for the next 60 years until her death on Oct. 29, 2006. Weldon continued to reside on his farm until November 2014.
During those 60 years, Weldon also served as President of the Sheldon Credit Union, drove bus for the Flambeau School District and was the town of Marshall treasurer for 14 years. He really enjoyed serving the community and talking with all the people.
Weldon had many fond memories of his life experiences and relished in sharing them with anyone that would lend an ear.
He is survived by his daughter, Rachel Henrichs of Hastings, Minn.; granddaughter, Wendi Shilts (Ryan Johnson) of Hastings, Minn.; great-grandson, Ryley Johnson of Hastings, Minn.; brother, Leland Henrichs (Darlene) of Fall Creek; sister-in-law, Leona Lee of Eau Claire and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Frances; his brother, Eldean, and his parents, Bill and Macie (Wheeler) Henrichs.
Weldon will be sadly missed by all that knew and loved him….he was a very special man.
A graveside service for family and friends will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, April 9, at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sheldon. Military Honors will be provided by the Sheldon American Legion.
Nash-Jackan Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.