ARAPAHOE -- Eldon Earl "Red" Wickham, 82, of Arapahoe, died Monday (July 20, 2009) at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Holdrege.
He was born July 2, 1927, south of Arapahoe on the family farm to Earl and Berdina (Cowles) Wickham. He attended a country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Arapahoe High School in 1944. He worked on the family farm and for George Riepe, trucking cattle and heavy equipment.
In August of 1946, he was drafted in the U.S. Army. He went to Fort Logan in Denver, Colo., and then on to Fort Bliss, Texas where he completed basic training. From there he went to William Beaumont General Hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he worked in the hospital and military police. He was discharged in September of 1947.
He returned to Arapahoe, driving truck for Paul Weverka, hauling gravel. On Feb. 16, 1968, he married Irene Ethel Sousley in Tipton, Mo. They lived in Arapahoe, where he worked for Longsine Brothers, hauling propane, heavy equipment and cattle. On Dec. 1, 1979, his wife died.
He and Fred Hoffman started the F-Red Truck Line hauling cattle for local cattle feeders. After the partnership dissolved, he worked for Adams Construction moving heavy equipment. When his father became ill, he took over the farming. He and his brother, Sanford worked together farming both his and their parent's farm.
On Aug. 24, 1983, he married Norma Paxton Jones. In 1997, melanoma cancer forced him to have extensive surgery. After selling his farm, he worked as needed for Bob Anderson.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Irene; brother, Sanford and wife, Mildred Wickham; and brother-in-law, Jack Kimble.
Survivors include his wife, Norma Wickham of Arapahoe; sister, Patsy Kimble of Westminster, Colo.; step-daughter, DeAnn and husband, Tom Nickel of Kearney; step-son, Richard and wife, Lynette Verbeck of Axtell; and one nephew.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 10:30 a.m., at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Arapahoe with the Rev. Jami Anderson officiating. Burial will be in the Arapahoe Cemetery with military honors provided by American Legion Post No, 96 of Arapahoe.
Viewing and visitation will be today until 8 p.m., at Wenburg Funeral Home in Arapahoe and prior to services at the church on Thursday. Condolences or personal reflections may be sent to www.wenburgfuneralhome.com.
Wenburg Funeral Home of Arapahoe is in charge of arrangements.