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Ernest Wiebe

May 22, 1921 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 102) 102 Years Old

Ernest Wiebe Obituary

Ernest Isaac Wiebe was born on May 22, 1921 in Hooker OK, to Isaac and Nettie Wiebe. Growing up, Ernest attended school in Adams, Oklahoma, and was a member of the Adams Mennonite Brethren Church. As a young boy growing up on a farm, Ernest and his father farmed with horses. They used a harrow behind a team of horses to work the ground. His father would constantly remind him, “Don’t ride on the horses! That’s too hard on them. You can walk”. So walk he did - back and forth, back and forth, working the ground, preparing it for planting. On the family farm, they raised cattle, pigs, and chickens, grew wheat and corn, and even had an orchard with apples, plums and apricots. Ernest’s daily chores on the farm included milking the cows, cleaning the barn, and cleaning the chicken coop.

The farm survived the worst years in the Dust Bowl. Ernest told stories of his mother taping plastic over the windows, but the dirt still came in the house. He said, “The dust was so thick it was dark in the middle of the day, and I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face.” Ernest also said a 4-6 bushel per acre wheat crop (which was just enough wheat to use as seed for the next year) was all they could raise because, “We didn’t know how to farm right”. He vividly remembered April 14, 1935, also known as Black Sunday, and the great wall of dust which fell upon the family farm. Over the course of the worst years in the Dust Bowl, Ernest’s father traveled west to California and up the coast to Oregon and Washington looking for a place to relocate the family. He came home and told the family he had found a place for them to move near Bellingham, Washington. The next day it rained, and the Wiebe family stayed in Adams. Ernest first saw his wife Dorothy (Schroeder) when she was in the nursery in church at the Adams Mennonite Brethren Church. Dorothy and Ernest were only children when he told everyone, “I will marry that girl”. Ernest and Dorothy were married in Adams on May 7, 1944. After they were married, they were the first couple to sit together in their church where, traditionally, men and women sat on opposite sides of the sanctuary and caused heads to turn their way. To this union was born Keith Dewayne Wiebe, Lloyd David Wiebe, and Jerry Craig Wiebe.

Ernest did not always have plans to take over the family farm. He planned to attend college in Colorado for engineering, but he could not afford the cost of college. Instead, he began farming with his father. During years when the drought was long and it was difficult to make a profit farming, Ernest would work several jobs to help make ends meet. He worked as a welder for Tradewind Industries in Liberal, Kansas, and as a contract pumper in the oil field for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company. His welding skills became very valuable on the farm, resulting in building a grain box for his truck.

The farm soon started changing rapidly with electricity coming to the farm in the late 1940s and new agricultural techniques such as irrigation, improved equipment and no-till farming. Ernest saw farming evolve from horse drawn equipment, to lug tired tractors, to 4-wheel drive tractors with air conditioning, to GPS and auto-trac. Ernest had a desire to always improve and develop new talents, including obtaining his private pilots license in 1976. Ernest has always had a can-do attitude which, paired with his dedicated work ethic and a deep faith in God, helped him persevere through challenging times.

The Wiebe Crew also did custom cutting during wheat harvest throughout Kansas. Their work ethic was well known, as was Ernest’s commitment not to work on Sundays. While many other custom cutters harvested 7 days a week, Ernest and his crew went home on Saturday nights so they could attend church on Sunday, and then they returned to the field first thing Monday morning. He told the story of a hailstorm coming through on a Saturday night, but the hail stopped at the fence line before the field they were cutting. He says no famer whose wheat he was cutting ever lost any of the wheat crop because his crew returned home for church on Sunday.

Farming was not always an easy way of life. Droughts and economic hardship made many years difficult. One year, Ernest went to the sale barn in Texhoma while he was considering selling the farm and quitting farming. A man in overalls he had never seen before sat down by him and started talking about the farm. Ernest told him how difficult times were and how he considered selling out. The man said, “Just keep planting corn”. So, he did, and the farm started turning around. Faith and trust in the Lord kept Ernest going during challenging times. While Ernest’s name is on the legal deed of the farm, he has long regarded God as the ultimate owner of the farm. His home was always open to his pastor and to visiting missionaries. Often in prayer, he would ask God to, “Bless us as much as is good for us.” He continually points to the best decision he ever made was giving his life to the Lord and asking the Lord to be his Savior. He would also tell you his second best decision was marrying Dorothy.

As an active member of the community, Ernest was elected as a member of the Adams School Board where he served for many years. He also served as a deacon in the First Baptist Church in Hooker. Both Ernest and Dorothy were active members in the church helping with activities and revivals. They served together and raised their family to do the same. Ernest was married for 62 years to Dorothy until her death in 2006. He married Mary Farmer in April of 2007. They made their home in Guymon for several years before moving in 2021 to Pioneer Manor in Hugoton, Kansas.

Farming was always a family centered enterprise for Ernest and all were always welcome back to help on the farm. While farming has changed over the years, Ernest’s family dedication and his faith in God never wavered. Ernest read his Bible daily but did not normally write or highlight passages in his Bible. The one passage he did highlight was 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy that this to hear that my children are walking in truth.” Seeing his family trust in God as their Lord and Savior was very important to Ernest. Ernest prayed for his family daily.

Ernest enjoyed sharing stories and memories from his days growing up in Adams. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren enjoyed hearing about the rich heritage and stories. While his family is spread out across the nation, from Seattle, Washington, to Huntington, West Virginia, to Washington D.C., and many points in between, they all know their roots started in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, near a small town named Adams with a small family farm and a deep faith in God’s plan.

Ernest was proceeded in death by his wife Dorothy and son Keith. He is survived by Lloyd and Judy Wiebe of Seattle WA., Jerry and Beth Wiebe of Hooker, OK., 12 grandchildren, 21 great- grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. till 6:00 p.m. Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Henson-Novak Funeral Home in Guymon.

Funeral services will be held 3:00 p.m. Sunday March 3, 2024 at The First Baptist Church of Guymon with Interment to follow at the Hooker City Cemetery.

Friends and family may sign the online guest book or leave online condolence at www.hensonnovak.com.

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Services

Visitation
Saturday
March 2, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Henson-Novak Funeral Directors - Guymon
501 NW 5th St / P.O. Box 1306
Guymon, OK 73942

Funeral Service
Sunday
March 3, 2024

3:00 PM
First Baptist Church - Guymon
2201 North Lelia
Guymon, OK 73942

Interment
Sunday
March 3, 2024

4:30 PM
Hooker City Cemetery
1200 Memory Lane
Hooker, OK 73945

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