Wallace Dean Heinrichs was born Dec.18, 1935 to Emma and Sam Heinrichs. They were blessed with an early Christmas surprise when not only did they add one son to the family, but two! Wallace and his identical twin brother, Willard, were small, but their grandmother knew how to take care of tiny babies. She placed them both in a box and set the box close to the oven to keep them warm in the chilly air of December. The twins grew and thrived on their parents’ farm. Dad was baptized in 1951 upon confession of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Dad spent his school years at Corn Public School where he played clarinet in the high school band. His height allowed him to excel at basketball, helping one of his high school teams advance to the state tournament. He was also fairly skilled in pranks and mischief.
It was at Corn Public School that he and Marjorie Janzen fell in love. Love lead to engagement and to marriage on Dec. 28, 1954. They settled down for a bit on their farm near Colony, but decided that they needed to earn some money. They moved to Santa Monica, California, and lived in an apartment near Venice Beach and within walking distance to the ocean.
During this time, Dad worked pumping gas for the movie stars in Hollywood and putting in shifts at the aircraft plant, MacDonald-Douglas. After earning that money, Mom and Dad returned to their farm and started their family. Cassandra was born first in 1958, followed by Randy and Steven. Robert was born in 1968 after they moved to the Heinrichs family farm where Dad had grown up. Our growing up years were the absolute best! Dad was always patient and gentle with his children. He let us help him with repairs to the farm equipment and involved us in the day to day operations of a farm as soon as he thought we could manage the tasks.
Dad could fix anything and loved working with his hands. His barn for repairs was always strewn with parts and tools and projects big and small. He also spent several years building houses with his brother-in-law, Lawrence Vogt, in Weatherford. When it came time to build a new house on the farm, he had a company build the frame, and then finished every bit of the inside and out himself.
Dad was always involved in the community and the church. He never hesitated to help friends, neighbors, and family and was a cheerful giver. He served on the school board of Washita Heights, served as a youth sponsor and was on several different committees in the Corn M.B. church.
Dad was content with the simple things in life: good food, family, and working with his hands. He was involved in custom wheat harvesting for many years, starting in high school, and finally retiring from that business when his hired hands (kids) moved out of the home or found employment that actually paid! We all made memories during those years, and still tell the stories of the good times and adventures.
After a lifetime of raising wheat and cattle, kids and grandkids, Mom and Dad sold the farms in 1991 after the cattle market decline of the 1980s. Dad then took up truck driving full time. This gave him a chance to see all parts of the United States, and he loved it. His truck driving adventures finally came to an end when he retired in 2014. Never one to just sit around and be bored, Dad then took a part time job hauling or driving vehicles to different locations for the Cummins dealership in Weatherford.
Dad’s favorite times were those spent with kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.
Dad and Mom loved to travel, and took two cruises: one to Alaska and one to the Caribbean. Around 1980, they happened upon a small town in Colorado, and fell in love with it. Lake City became a place they returned to many times, and sometimes family and friends joined them there. We also had two family get-togethers in Breckenridge, Colorado that almost everyone in the family was able to attend.
What a ride Dad’s life has been! So many adventures and memories! On Jan. 2, 2018, after a two- year illness, Dad took one final trip when God called him to his eternal home.
Dad leaves behind his children, Cassie and husband Mark Moses of Elk City, Oklahoma; Randy and wife Stephanie of McPherson; Steven and wife Sharbee of Weatherford, Oklahoma; and Robert and wife Brenda of Corn, Oklahoma. Also his grandchildren: Amber and Ryan Waggoner, Emerald and Jonathan Beck, Michael and Ginnifer Heinrichs, Tyler and Hilary Heinrichs, Bonnie and Chaz Robinson, Lindsay Heinrichs, Luke and Megan Goucher, Bridgette Heinrichs, Heather Heinrichs, and Chris Vandersloot. Also great-grandchildren: Madeline, Jaxton, Aubrey, A.J., Beau, Hunter, Kimber, Colt, Charley, and Kobe. Dad also leaves behind on this earth, brothers and their wives: Willard and Velma Heinrichs, Ken and Juanita Heinrichs, and Dr. Jerome and Irene Adams. Dad was preceded in death by our mom, Marjorie, as well as his parents.
Our dad will be greatly missed, but we look forward to the day when we will all be home together again.
Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 at Corn Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial will follow in Corn Mennonite Brethren Cemetery.