Feb. 18, 1951—Nov. 22, 2022
Wayne Lee Wedel, 71, passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 22, 2022. He was born in Dodge City, Kan., on Feb. 18, 1951, to Lacy and Viola Wedel. He grew up in Kansas where he learned to be a farmer, just like his father. He found that farming was where his heart was.
Wayne and Judi Simenson met in Denver, Colo., and were married in Garden City, Kan., in 1973. They lived in Montezuma and Lakin, Kan., for three years where Wayne raised wheat and corn.
Their daughter, Erica, was born in Dodge City, Kan., in 1976. They moved to Brooksville and Macon, Mississippi in 1977, where Wayne farmed wheat and soybeans. Their son, Ryan, was born in Columbus, Miss., in 1978.
While continuing to farm in Mississippi, Wayne decided to take his combines on the road to do some custom harvesting in Byers and Monte Vista, Colo. Nine years after moving to Mississippi, the family relocated to Monte Vista in the San Luis Valley, where Wayne started out raising wheat and barley under his company name of Golden Valley.
After a couple of years, Wayne began raising potatoes and that was the crop he loved to grow the most. He developed several strong business relationships and close friendships over the years in the San Luis Valley.
Wayne retired from farming in 2014 when he moved to the Denver area to be closer to family, but his heart was always back at the farm. He moved full time to Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2019 where he enjoyed beautiful desert views from his back patio and many adventures with new-found friends.
Wayne made friends everywhere he went. He loved telling stories of his farming days and showing pictures of his potato crops, cars, grandkids and whatever else had captured his attention. He had a great sense of humor and was most always either laughing or giving someone else a laugh. He always seemed to be doing or saying something funny to get others laughing every time the story was retold.
He was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, brother-in-law Greg Bach and many aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his daughter Erica Kelley (Jeff), son Ryan Wedel (Cassi), grandchildren Caitlyn Pedron, Tripp Kelley, Cole Wedel, Hollis Wedel, his former wife and mother of his children, Judi Simenson, brother Gerald (Letha) Wedel, sisters Donna Bird and Elva Bach and several nieces and nephews.
Wayne loved to drive, and he had one speed — fast! He lived his life to the fullest, on his terms and used the whole runway. We miss you and until we see you again up in heaven, we know you love us, and we love you too — right back at ya’, double time.
A memorial service will be held at Valley Country Club in Aurora, Colorado on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m.