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Thursday, August 17, 2023
2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)
John Richard Wieland, born September 11, 1928, died following a brief illness on August 7, 2023.
John lived and worked the family farm in Ellsworth most of his life. He saw many changes in his nearly 95 years; in 1938, he would see tractors edge out horsepower in the fields, and electricity came to the home that same year. He truly did walk two miles to school – in the snow – but admitted it wasn’t uphill both ways! In the 1940’s everyone learned to live without many things, including hired help, so John and his brother took turns going to school, with one staying home to help on the farm. After graduating high school, he spent two winters taking Ag Tech classes at MSU, which started a generational tradition of being a Spartan.
Literally over a cow, while competing in 4-H dairy judging, he met the love of his life, Doris VanDeventer, and on November 26, 1948 they were married. This marriage lasted 71 years.
Although farming and family were time consuming, John took on many other activities. He belonged to the local Lions Club, he served on the school board, became active in the Republican party, and was a member of the State Farm Bureau board. These activities led to travel for conventions and meetings across the country.
Eventually he learned to relax and spent time in sunny Florida. The winter trips became longer and after selling the Michigan property, Florida became their official residence. Golf became his new passion and his farm now consisted of a citrus tree in the back yard. John and Doris joined the aptly named FUN CHORUS, singing for nursing homes and putting on musicals, he was the much-loved president of the group. Florida became lonely after Doris passed away and John moved back to Northern Michigan in 2022. He never did get reacclimated to the winter weather, but enjoyed the changing seasons for one last year.
~A Life Well Lived~
John is survived by three children, Kathleen Ruis (Joe Beaudoin), Lindon Wieland, and Suzanne Cliff; a daughter-in-law, Joni Wieland (Griz Patenge); three grandchildren, Lori (Brian) Frohock, Josh Wieland, and Jamie (Ryan) Fischer; three great-grandchildren, Camden Frohock, Ella Frohock, and Brooklyn Fischer; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife, Doris Wieland; his son, Daniel Wieland; his brother, Tom Wieland; his son-in-law, Marvin Ruis; and his daughter-in-law, Barbara Wieland.
A celebration of John’s life will take place on Thursday, August 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Banks Township Hall. He will be laid to rest with Doris in Ellsworth Cemetery at a private family ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Front Porch Ministries or the Banks Township Historical Society.
Arrangements are in the care of the Ellsworth Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign his online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com