Bill Ray Wedel, 84, our loving husband and father, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family and friends on Friday, August 26, 2022. He was born to Irvin and Hilda Wedel on March 9, 1939 in Ringwood. The Wedel family lived in very humble circumstances and even at one time lived in a chicken house. Dad told us many stories of his childhood and the many obstacles they faced both financially and physically. One of which was polio that Dad contracted at the age of three or four. The disease left him with a crippled foot and an affected arm, but neither hindered him in excelling in anything that he wanted to accomplish. He attended Oakdale School and was at the head of his class. (He always told his kids he was the President of his class three years straight, we found out later he was the only one in his class!)
He graduated from Ringwood High School in 1955. The big city life called, and he moved to Enid to attend Enid Business College. He was the first sibling to attend any type of college and did this all on his own. He met his loving wife of 62 years, Donna, in Watonga, Oklahoma. They later married on February 6, 1960 in the Christian Church in Canton. Those in attendance were the preacher, Bill and Donna, his brother, Glenn and wife, Jewel Wedel. Four years later, Sherry Lynne was born. Then in 1967, David Weseley joined the family. After building a home in Enid and living there for several years, Bill and Donna and family moved back to Ringwood and later built their home southwest of Ringwood in what is known by the family as “Wedelville”.
Bill was a car salesman by trade and enjoyed many years in the industry. He always prided himself on being honest and open with all his “deals”. He made many lifelong friends doing what he loved. Many of his friends were made at Dobrinski Chevrolet in Okeene, where Bill finished his career in car sales.
Music was always a love and talent of Bills. He learned to play the guitar at a young age and later sang in a barbershop quartet in high school. Later he formed a country music band with his brother, Jay Dee and niece, Dianna. The band was called “The Travelers” and was a local favorite. The Travelers played all over Oklahoma and Dad loved singing and being on stage with his friends and family. We will miss Bill “picking and grinning” along with his family at our annual Wedel reunions.
Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Donna; daughter, Sherry (Mark) Davidson of Ringwood, and son, David (Gwen) Wedel of Lahoma. He took great pride in his six grandchildren and bragged on them any opportunity he was given. They are Amanda (Kyle) Stinnett, Kara (Layne) Blevins, Tyler (Elizabeth)Wedel, Conner (Yadira) Davidson, Deverin Mitts and Matthew Wedel. Bill and Donna had three great grandchildren: Teagan Blevins, Maisie Wedel, and Raigan Wedel. Bill also has three brothers and one sister who survive: Jay Dee (Doris) Wedel, Jerry (Ruth) Wedel, Gene (Dori) Wedel and Darlene (Verland) Wedel Holub.
Bill will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and great friend to many. Go rest high on that mountain until we can see you again.
Memorials in Bill’s honor may be made to Ringwood Lions Club or the Ringwood Education Foundation with Lanman Funeral Home serving as custodian. For Ringwood Education Foundation, please make out checks to CFO as the payee and Ringwood Scholarship Endowment listed in the memo.
Celebration of Life Service for Bill will be Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Ringwood with burial to follow in the Wedel Cemetery. Arrangements are by Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Helena. Viewing will be at the church before the service. www.lanmanmemorials.com Facebook: Lanman Funeral Home Inc.