Donald Wessels Profile Photo
1943 Donald 2023

Donald Wessels

December 20, 1943 — November 21, 2023




Donald Lee “Don” Wessels, age 79, passed from this life on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.  Don was born on December 20, 1943, at the Cherokee Masonic Hospital to George and Bessie Mae Jantz Wessels.  Don lost his mother at a young age, and his father then married her sister, Donna Jantz (at the request of Bessie), who raised Don as her own child.  George and Donna provided Don with two siblings, Ronald and Georgia.  


Don grew up in Cherokee graduating from Cherokee High School in 1962 and from NWOSU in 1966 with a B.S. in Chemistry.  Don met Barbara Burkhart while she was up visiting her grandparents in Cherokee.  Two weeks later Don drove to Corpus Christi, Texas and they were engaged the next day.  They were married the following Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966.  


Don entered the United States Army in October 1966 and he and Barbara lived in Boston, Washington, DC, and Warrenton, Virginia.  Don served his country in Military Intelligence, Electronic Warfare Operations and Radio Intell.  During his service he was stationed overseas in Turkey and received the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Badge M-14 and went on to be honorably discharged. 


Don and Barbara had four children:  Jerry, Julie, Laura and Ladonna.  Moving back to Cherokee, Don made his career with Alfalfa Electric Cooperative, most of this time being spent as the Office Manager.  Don enjoyed farming, especially during wheat harvest!  After Barbara’s passing in 2013, Don later met a second love, Edith Haight, and together they enjoyed gardening, fishing, traveling and being outdoors.  Don set a great example of serving the Lord as a faithful servant to his country, community, church, and family.  Don loved his children, grandchildren, and any and all youth, especially those of the Cherokee First Christian Church where he loved teaching them to shoot bow and arrow, Vacation Bible School, and providing candy sacks each Christmas to all children, both young and old.  


Don is preceded in death by his parents, infant daughter, Julie, and wife, Barbara Wessels.


Survivors include his second love and companion, Edith Haight; son, Jerry Wessels and wife, Shanndee and their children, Lindzee and Kolt; daughter, Laura Wade and husband, Wynn and their son, Harley; daughter, Ladonna Nichols and husband, Jim of Grandview, Missouri, and her son, Quinton Thomas of Cherokee; brother, Ron Wessels and wife, Cathy; sister, Georgia Wilson and husband, Carl; several nieces, nephews, and many extended family and friends. 


Funeral service for Don will be at First Christian Church in Cherokee on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Luke Heim officiating.  Burial will follow at Cherokee Municipal Cemetery.  Lanman Funeral Home, Inc. of Cherokee is in charge of arrangements.  Facebook:  Lanman Funeral Home Inc.


Memorials may be made to First Christian Church Youth through Lanman Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald Wessels, please visit our flower store.


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