Wendell Harold Zesiger, age 80, died Aug. 2, 2023 at his homestead in North Pole, Alaska. He was born in Garfield, Washington, on Oct. 9, 1942 to Harold and Harriette Zesiger.
Wendell started school in Molson, Washington in 1948. Two weeks after his eighth birthday his mother passed away. His father moved the family to Oroville, where he attended grade school. In 1953, the family moved back to the Mary Ann Ranch in Molson, where he graduated in 1961. The summer following graduation, he worked fighting fires, then attended Wenatchee Valley College. In 1963 he and three friends went on a three month Canadian wilderness campout, living off the land by hunting and fishing.
Wendell met his wife Lyndann “Lyndy” Syring while attending the Free Methodist Church and were married there July 3, 1964. Shortly after their son Lyndell was born in Tonasket, he joined the U.S. Army and its two-year special program – Helicopter Flying and Sheet Metal Training School. While in the Army, Wendell served in Vietnam from 1966-1967 as a Helicopter and Sheet Metal Mechanic.
In 1968, he moved his wife and son to Fairbanks, Alaska, where he found a small cabin on 45 acres and spent one and a half years building a three-bedroom log house for his growing family. Laurie, Andrew, Timothy, Jennie and Bethany joined their big brother on the homestead by the Chena River in North Pole.
During Wendell’s years in Alaska, he continued working as a Sheet Metal Engineer and ran heavy equipment, Belly Scraper and D-10 Dozer, in a gold mine. During the 1980s, he and Lyndy were allotted 200 acres of agricultural land adjacent to his original 45. He owned and flew two airplanes, raised a large vegetable garden, five acres of potatoes, cattle, horses, goats, oats and Brome grass hay.
Wendell was a devoted believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and was very active in helping those who were struggling in life and, for a time, had a tent camp for them.
Wendell is survived by his six children, Lyndell Zesiger, Laurie (David) Mowery, Andrew Zesiger, Timothy (Gretchen) Zesiger, Jennie (David) Robinson and Bethany (Isaac) Drake; 31 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and his siblings Annabelle (Vernon) Scriven, Ellen (John) Newton and John (Kathleen) Zesiger. Wendell was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years; parents, Harold and Harriette; brother, Warren; stepmother, Elizabeth; stepsister, Mary; daughter-in-law, Sarah Zesiger and grandson, Ryan Zesiger.