Wilferd "Bill" Loewen
13 January, 2013 by Ed Ediger
Bill Loewen, 90, of McPherson, KS, passed away at 5:40 a.m., Sunday, January 13th, 2013 peacefully, at Cedars Health Care Center in McPherson, Kansas.
Wilferd “Bill” Loewen, the son of Mary (Harms) and Dietrich K. Loewen, was born in Hillsboro Kansas, on July 26, 1922. He had one brother, Clarence, and three sisters, Elvira, LuElla and VaLetta. He was baptized in 1940 and later became a member of the First Baptist Church for over 60 years.
Bill began working on the farm, for his dad, when he was 12 years old and continued until he graduated from Lehigh High School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force from November 1942, during World War II. He was stationed at Amarillo Army Air Field teaching ground mechanics on the B17 and at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. on the B29. He was honorably discharged on February 12, 1946 and moved to McPherson where he made his home ever since. He was a member of the American Legion Post 24 for 64 years.
There he met his sweetheart and was united in marriage to Mary Ida Haag on April 24, 1949, on a Sunday afternoon, at the First Baptist Church Parsonage. He maintained his membership in the First Baptist Church for the rest of his life. They were blessed with two daughters, Glenna and Janice.
Bill had a love for cars and was the owner of Bill Loewen Motor Co. in Salina, Kansas for over 20 years. He drove back and forth from McPherson, accumulating at least 27 speeding tickets during that time!
In 1974, he sold the business and worked as the sales manager for Reimer Ford and later, Lacy-Regehr Motors in McPherson. In 1984, he was the sales manager for Kansas Kampers, retiring in 1996 at 74 years old.
Bill loved sales and meeting new people. He enjoyed getting up every day and going to work. He was a very respected and honest man in the automobile industry. He received several awards from Ford Motor Company. If Bill had not struggled with a hearing loss, he would’ve been in sales today!
Bill loved singing from the time he sang in the high school quartet until October of last year with the MacFoursome Quartet and the Men in Harmony Barbershop Chorus. He was a member of the church choir for over 60 years. He was the cofounder of the Light Capital Singers (now MIH) in 1974 and one of the three original members of the quartet, having the distinction of being the longest registered quartet in the state of Kansas. They performed for over 38 years. He served as president for many years and took pride in his efforts to keep the chorus active. He was honored as the Barbershopper of the Year in January 2012, an honor he cherished so much.
Bill was a wonderful family man and was proud of his two daughters. He loved to take the family on vacations, especially Florida, a state he loved from the time he was stationed there. There were times he called Mary and said to pack some bags – let’s get away for the weekend, even if it was only Oklahoma City as long as there was a pool for the girls at the motel!!
Bill bowled in his early years on the First Baptist Church team in the local league. He loved to take his girls fishing and later in years, golfing. His family was important to him and enjoyed the time he had providing for them and raising his girls in a Christian home.
He was especially proud of his granddaughters. The joy they gave him was immeasurable. He attended all their dance recitals, track and cross country meets, and volleyball games. There was a special place in his heart for Jenna, Kristen and Sydney that was apparent just by looking at him.
Part of Bill’s heart never recovered in the tragic loss of his daughter, Janice, in February of 2009. Knowing Janice was there to greet him in Heaven gives the family a sense of peace within them.
Bill was a Christian, a loving husband, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend. Those he touched, whether it was by his singing, if he sold you a car, truck or camper or by the many friends he made throughout his years you will miss him.
Bill Loewen passed away peacefully at the Cedars Health Care Center on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at the age of 90 years old. He is survived by his wife of over 63 years, Mary Ida; his daughter, Glenna Balsick, granddaughters, Jenna Balsick and Sydney (Jason) Hunt; all of McPherson, Kristen Jukes of Kansas City, Missouri; two sisters, Elvira Neufeld of Fresno, California and VaLetta Longhofer of Wichita, Kansas, other relatives and a multitude of friends.
His parents, two daughters; Jolene Marie Loewen (stillborn) and Janice Jukes, son-in-law, Steve Jukes; a brother, Clarence and a sister, LuElla Bonesteel, preceded him in death.
Friends are invited to call Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Glidden-Ediger Chapel, McPherson, Kansas.
The funeral service will be conducted by Pastor Alden Dick at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 17th, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in McPherson, Kansas. The Men in Harmony Barbershop Chorus will sing "Great Gettin' Up Mornin'." Dennis Loewen will sing "What Did You Do With Jesus?" A gospel medley, by Michelle King, will be presented. Anita Muhs will play the prelude and postlude music.
Burial in McPherson Cemetery will follow the funeral service with full military honors presented by American Legion Post No. 24 and Veterans of foreign Wars Post No. 2715.
Memorial contributions may be given to American Heart Association or First Baptist Church in care of Glidden-Ediger Funeral Home, 222 W. Euclid Street, McPherson, KS 67460.
HONORARY CASKET BEARERS
Men In Harmony Barbershop Chorus
Jerry Graf Mike Cooper Vern Winter
John Holecek Alan Balsick Charlie Swindler
Allan Sents Howard Stenzel
Posted By Sharla Rempe on 17 January, 2013
Glenna, I am so sorry to hear of your father's passing! It is so hard to lose a parent! I will keep you in my prayers. Think good thoughts of him and your sister. Take Care!
Posted By Pat and Tom Jones on 17 January, 2013
Please accept our prayers and our sympathy for the family and friends of Bill. Our hearts are with you.
Posted By Edward McCue on 16 January, 2013
My mother, Mildred, Mary Ida's sister, was always so grateful that that "good looking Bill" lent his car to my Dad for the short drive to the reception right after their 1948 wedding in Emporia. We McCue's have photos of these and other happy events with the Loewen family and send everyone our heartfelt condolences and warmest wishes.
Posted By Merry Persinger on 16 January, 2013
I am so sorry that I can not be with you in this difficult time, however, you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Much love to you Glenna, your lovely mother and your wonderful family.
Posted By Eldred Kingery on 16 January, 2013
I had the pleasure of singing is his quartet in the early 90's. It was always a blast!
He was a great guy, always had a smile on his face, and he will be missed.
Posted By Laraine Erickson on 15 January, 2013
Dear Glenna and family, As Louie said, you miss him so much and as Cindy said, those memories will become treasures. Be glad that you were able to spend as much time as you did with him.
Posted By Louie Potts Peterson on 14 January, 2013
Dear Glenna (and family)
So sorry to hear about your Daddy. I loved to hear him sing! I'm saying a prayer for your Moma, You, the girls, and the rest of your family. Even when they live a good long life, you just miss them so much! Be blessed with all your treasured memories.
Love you much,
Posted By Cindy Culver Burke on 13 January, 2013
Dear Glenna, so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. Never easy to loose a parent. Fill your heart with memories and he will stay alive there forever. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. God bless.