Wendell Wayne Seydell
May 7, 1933
January 9, 2016
On January 9, 2016 the worldly travel adventures of Wendell Wayne Seydell ended in Des Moines following a lengthy illness. He was born to humble beginnings as the son of Issac Eli Seydel and Sylvia Howell Seydel on May 7th, 1933 at home in Fairport, Iowa. Wayne’s father passed away when Wayne was seven years old, leading to early years filled with adventures of simply making do and scraping together life in Eastern Iowa. Wayne’s first opportunity to leave the state was as he proudly served his country in the Army from 1950-1953, including a one-year deployment to The Korean Conflict. He also participated in the Army’s nuclear warhead testing at Camp Desert Rock in Nevada.
Wayne returned home ready to begin lifelong travels with his own family. He met the love of his life, Bonnie Tesdall, when she asked him to skate with her at a Marshalltown roller rink. Wayne and Bonnie were married on September 5th, 1953 at Bethany Lutheran in McCallsburg, Iowa. They traveled together for nearly 63 years. He confirmed his journey of faith to Christ in 1953 at Elim Lutheran Church in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Wayne’s longest tenured job was working for the Federal government at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. Wayne and Bonnie lived on the farm near McCallsburg, Iowa until moving to Story City in 1990 and West Des Moines in 1997. Wayne worked long hours, overtime and many holidays, but the nice benefit was extended vacation time in the summer. This was when he and Bonnie would hitch the camper to the back of their truck, gather the kids and take off to see the United States. The family traveled to all corners of the U.S. visiting National Parks, historic markers, lots of ice cream stands, and finishing most every night with a game of cards around the camp fire. Shorter weekend trips were spent at Twin Anchors or Cutty’s campground in Central Iowa.
Wayne and Bonnie continued to travel together until recent years. They refurbished an Airstream camper for many trips, and then took advantage of Elderhostels throughout the country covering topics from geology to history. During recent years they enjoyed local bus tours. Wayne took his last substantial trip in the fall of 2014 when he was part of an Honor Flight for Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C. Photos from these trips have a special place in their home and forever in their memories.
Wayne was a master craftsman, always working to improve his house, his farm, or a new wood project for the community and family. However, his greatest creation was raising four outstanding children; Kristine (Tony) Orcutt of Windsor Heights, Kenton (Elizabeth) of Red Bank, New Jersey, Jerry (Kalynne) of Roland, and JuliAnne (Todd) Johnson of Iowa City. Each one was raised to love each other, people, and pursue what they love. They have each settled down independently and made Wayne proud. Wayne had nine grandchildren: Teryn (Brian) Kilbride, Kevin (Noemi) Orcutt, Lauren (Ryan) Kollmann, Mark Hardy, Joshua (Alli) Seydell, Emily Seydell, Aaron Seydell, Nate Johnson and Karina Johnson. He was also blessed in recent years with six great grandchildren: Eva, Euan, Elliott, Lukas, Millie and Mabel.
Wayne was involved and gave his gifts to numerous people and organizations. His most involved organizations were: St. Mark Lutheran Church, the American Legion, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the Lions Club, and the Disabled American Veterans. Wayne and Bonnie have lived at the Lodge of Ashworth in West Des Moines since 1997 where in his leisure Wayne enjoyed swimming, was a billiards champion, and was always up for a game of canasta or cribbage.
Wayne was proceeded in death by his parents, his sister, Dorothy and brother, Virgil. He survived by his sister, Ruby (Raymond) Cunningham, of Columbus Junction.
Memorial contributions for Wayne may be made to the Friends of the Pine Creek Grist Mill at Wildcat Den State Park (pinecreekgristmill.com) located in Muscatine County. The mill overlooks Wayne’s favorite swimming hole from his youth. He and Bonnie have been supporters of the historic site for many years.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.
(Lyrics to “Happy Trails” by Dale Evans Rogers)
Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Funeral at 2:00 p.m. at St. Mark Lutheran, 1115 Grand Ave, West Des Moines, Iowa.