Al Wiest

Celebrating the life of Al Wiest

August 22, 1914  ~  December 30, 2012

The family of Al Wiest would like to thank everyone who helped with dad’s wonderful Celebration of Life on February 9th. We are very grateful that Dad had his church family, along with us, for love and support, especially these last few years.

Dick & Inta Wiest, Frank & Mary Simpkins & Kyle, Bethany and Paul


Al Wiest

            Al Wiest, retired US Army Colonel, died peacefully but unexpectedly at the age of 98 on December 30th, 2012, in his home in Beachcrest, rural Olympia, WA. He was born on August 22, 1914, in Jamestown, ND, where he came to be called “Bill”, to couple him with his identical twin brother Bob. Al grew up in Jamestown, graduated from high school, and spent the rest of the 1930’s Great Depression years in a wide variety of pursuits wherever work could be found. Among other things, he was a semi-professional baseball player, grain harvester, airport builder, store clerk, importer of used Model A Fords from Detroit to Jamestown, deliveryman, meat cutter and member of the Civilian Conservation Corps. His favorite sideline was Company H, 164th Infantry Regiment, North Dakota National Guard, which he joined in 1933 and stayed with until the unit, with the possibility of war looming, was taken into federal service in 1941. In that year, while serving in Louisiana, he married his hometown sweetheart, Arla Newton. She was a devoted army wife, following the colors with son Richard, and later daughter Mary, until happy retirement. Sadly, Mrs. Wiest died in 2001 after almost 60 years of marriage.

            During WWII, then Lt. Wiest served in the South Pacific, where he became an infantry heavy weapons company commander and his regiment achieved a modest immortality as the first US Army unit to see offensive action in the war, reinforcing beleaguered Marines on Guadalcanal in October of 1942. The 164th shared in the Naval Presidential Unit Citation awarded to the 1st Marine Division, probably the only complete army unit to receive this distinction during the war. He loved the army and stayed on, serving in the US, Japan and Germany, including two combat tours in the Korean War. Retiring in 1964, he helped build his dream house, picked apples in Eastern Washington for a season, and later sold sporting goods to the Army/Air Force PX for many years while pursuing fish, elk and the perfect cigar in his spare time. He kept a special spot in heart for his North Dakota roots and his WWII regiment, regularly attending the annual reunions, including his last one in 2012.

            A man of ready wit and rich humor, good storyteller and a natural leader, known as “The Skipper” to his men on Guadalcanal, Col. Wiest was active in the Beachcrest Community Association and St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, Lacey. His is survived by son Richard and daughter-in-law Inta, (Lynnwood, WA), daughter Mary, son-in-law Frank and grandsons Kyle and Paul (Oviedo, FL) granddaughter Bethany (Atlanta) and nieces and nephews in ND and TN.


The Fallen Limb

A limb has fallen from the family tree.

I keep hearing a voice that says,

“Grieve not for me.

Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.

The good life I lived while I was strong.

Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.

Keep smiling and surely the sun

will shine through.

My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.

Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.

Continue traditions, no matter how small.

Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls

I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.

Until the day comes we’re together again.”


In Loving Memory of

Al Wiest

February 9, 2013



* Hymn                                               “How Great Thou Art”                       Red Hymnal #77

Welcome                                                                                               Rev. Melissa Ramming


Scripture                                                  23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:

For thou art with me;

thy rod and they staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me

in the presence of mine enemies;

Thou anointest my head with oil;

my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

for ever. AMEN


Special Music                                      ‘The Swan’                              Cello, - Jeremy Holland
                                                                                                                  Piano - Paul Duncan


Homily                                                                                                                Pastor Melissa

Special Music                                      ‘As Time Goes By’                                     Paul Duncan
                                                                                                                  & Maggie Schoengarth

Memories of Dad                                                                                                 Dick Wiest (son)

A Time for Sharing    

(The family will be sharing their remembrances first, then we will open the
microphone to all that would like to offer a remembrance or word about Al)

Solo                                                     ‘Danny Boy’                                                Paul Duncan

Pastoral Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

* Hymn                                               ‘Methodist Pie’                                           insert




Please join us for a luncheon following the service.









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