(George) Elden Wagenblast, Jr., died on May 20, 2015, at the Oregon Veterans Home in The Dalles, Ore. Elden was born near The Dalles on November 29, 1920, on a ranch on Five Mile Creek operated by his father George Elden Wagenblast, Sr. George himself was born in 1893 at a cabin on Eight Mile Creek. George’s grandfather, Johann Gottlieb Wagenblast, came on the Oregon Trail in 1855 and settled in The Dalles in 1872.
Elden’s mother was Mae Pearl Garret who came to Oregon in 1906 from Iowa where she was born in 1895. She and George married in 1916 and eventually moved to farm the Kuck Ranch along the Deschutes River in 1921.
Elden and his two brothers, Earl Edwin and Robert Harold, attended Columbia Grade School at the Daneville area on Fifteen Mile Creek. Elden graduated from The Dalles High School in 1938, having become a State Farmer in FFA. In September 1942, he volunteered to enter the Army Air Corps and was later flown to India to be in charge of several warehouses for airplane parts, even giving some to the Flying tigers air unit. He returned home via ship in January, 1946, married Joan Florence Arrivee on September, 1946, and went into wheat farming with his brother Earl on the retirement of their father. Elden then operated the farm by himself from 1958 until he retired in 1985. They had three children, Debra Florence, David Elden, and Lucinda Mae.
Elden was active in community activities, including the Columbia Hall Farmers Union, Ten Mile Saddle Club, Mid-Columbia Saddle Clubs, Oregon Wheat Growers League Livestock Show, Wasco County Historical Association, Wasco County Pioneers, Knights of Pythias, The Dalles Elks Lodge, and the China-Burma-India Veterans. Elden participated in 4-H groups, Petersburg Grade School and Wahtonka High School’s PTA’s. Elden also taught FFA at The Dalles High School as a substitute teacher for several years and was part of the FFA Advisory Board for a long time. He was a judge for horse shows in the area and at the Oregon State Fair. He became President of every association he belonged to, including Exalted Ruler of The Dalles Elks Lodge in 1989. His family was chosen Farm Family of the Year in 1976 and Elden was named Pioneer of the Year for Wasco County 2004 and State Diamond Pioneer in 2004.
Elden’s wife, Joan, passed away earlier in the year on January 14, 2015. Survivors include daughter Debra Florence Arrivée, son David Elden Wagenblast (wife Megan), and daughter Lucinda Mae Wagenblast. Grandchildren are Mariah McNeice (husband Gary, daughters Dahlia and Bella), Katrina Gates (husband Ian and son Caton), Paul David Wagenblast and Hanna Kiza Wagenblast.
Service will be held at Spencer Libby and Powell on Friday May 29, 2015, at 1 p.m. Reception will follow.
The family would like to extend their thanks to the caring staff of Oregon Veteran’s Home. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Oregon Veteran’s Home and the Dufur High School FFA Chapter. Dad would suggest that if you are unable to donate please volunteer to help someone in your community, wherever that may be.
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