Anyone that knows my Dad, knows that he was a little bit stubborn and stuck in his ways. One of Dad’s wishes was to not have an Obituary. However, he never said that I couldn’t write about his life and share the many reasons why I was so proud to call him my Dad. So here is a tribute to my Dad.
My Dad was born on October 16th, 1941 in Caldwell, Ks to Walter and Lucille (Heizer) Ehlers. He was the baby of four. William Milton (Bill), Loretta May (Lori, Larry Joe and then Dad.
Dad attended all 12 years of school at Caldwell, graduating in 1959. During his school years and after graduating High School he worked for an old-time vet, George Czaplinski, as well as Milford Reser.
On October 22nd, 1963 Dad enlisted in the Air Force. During his time in the Air Force he was a Jet Engine Mechanic and served in Vietnam. He was Honorably Discharged on October 21st, 1969. At that time, he became a Civilian Contractor for Lear Seigler based in Oklahoma City and continued working on Jet Engine Test Cells where he serviced 49 States and 12 Countries.
On August 27th, 1973 my Mom and Dad united in marriage and on June 17th, 1974 I was honored to also be given the Ehlers name. It was during that time, that we moved to Caldwell and Dad went back to work for Milford Reser, helping him farm and take care of cattle.
Dad started working at the Caldwell Post Office in 1980. He only worked there 30 hours a week, which allowed him to pursue his many other jobs. From helping Cochrans with sales, sharpening saw blades and working on chain saws, rolling disc and later his tree service, Dad was known to work from sunrise until sunset and then some. In 2006, he retired from the Post Office and focused on his many side gigs.
After Jeff and I got married, Dad enjoyed helping Jeff custom cut wheat and milo. However, in 1997 and again in 1999 he finally got to enjoy the best job of all and that was being a GrandDad. Going on adventure trips, movies, fishing, roasting marshmallows and hotdogs and later attending numerous ballgames, proms and graduations, Dad was extremely proud of his Grandkids.
One of the jobs that Dad was a pro at, but would never admit it, nor advertise it, was his moving service. It started off with Jeff and I moving an old farmhouse 42 miles and then remodeling it. A few years later, we decided to sell the farm and move to Southwest Oklahoma and then let the fun begin. Over the course of two years we moved five times. Dad was an expert when it came to packing a U-Haul truck, trailer and of course being our official U-haul driver. However, the 5th time we moved he refused to help and said “maybe if we had to do it ourselves, we’d quit moving.” Well, he was right…….we have had the same zip code for 13 ½ years.
In 2014, Dad was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. This was a shock to all of us, especially since it’s supposedly not hereditary, but was the same disease his mother died from in 1982. At this time, there is still no cure and it’s unknown what causes it.
I honestly did not intend to write this much, but there were so many things that I wanted to share. My dad was the hardest working man I know and I will forever be grateful for all he gave and taught me.
Love you always Dad,
Eddie is survived by his wife, Claudia of the home; daughter, Cyndi (Jeff) Owen of Vinita, OK; grandchildren Caitlyn Owen of Vinita, OK and Cole Owen of Vinita, OK. He is also survived by his sister, Loretta (Lori) King of Charlotte, MI; sisters-in-law Diana Ehlers of Medford, OK and Barbara Ehlers of Marshfield, MO; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Private family service will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and sent in care of the mortuary