Obituary: Ike Needens
Ike Needens, age 93, passed away on Jan. 13, 2018, after a long battle with bone and lung cancer. His suffering was intense, and those who took care of him are thankful he’s now pain-free and enjoying reunions in Heaven with his loved ones who’ve gone before him, especially his little miniature schnauzer, Sophie, whom he’d grieved for longer and more visibly than any family members who’d predeceased him. He’d also seen Sophie show up many times during his illness, and less than a month before his passing, after waking up from a nap had asked his son “where’s our dog?” Sophie had been a gift from his great-grandson Peter, after Ike’s wife’s passing and Peter having a long-hoped-for little brother FINALLY arrive. Of all the gifts Ike ever received in his lifetime, the one Pete gave him was the best.
Ike, the sixth of eight children of the late Georg Jacob “Jake” Needens and Amalie “Molly” (Müller) Needens, was born March 13, 1924, at Big Horn, a community on the outskirts of Sheridan, Wyo., and was the only one of his siblings who chose to finish high school, graduating from Sheridan High School in 1943. He loved knowledge more than anything, was an avid reader and always had notepads and pieces of paper around him with notes he’d taken when studying something or watching infomercials.
Ike joined the Army on April 21, 1944, and was sent overseas after his basic training in Alabama was completed. His assignments took him to Belgium, France and Germany.
Upon returning home to Wyoming when his military career was completed, Ike worked at various jobs in the categories of mining, farming and livestock.
On July 4, 1948, Ike rode along with his sister Helen, her husband, Al Lind, and their two young sons, Gordon and Roger, to a mountain lodge that was a favorite spot for holiday gatherings. He met Wanda Melby that day, and they were married six months later, on Jan. 14, 1949.
In 1961, Ike purchased a farm in Washington, southeast of George, just down the road a piece from where Tony and Glynis Stadelman, two of the best neighbors you could ever hope to have, now live. The Needens’ family literally left Wyoming one year and arrived in Quincy the next, having left Wyoming on Dec. 30, 1961, stopped overnight in Helena, Mont., and were driving through Moses Lake enroute to Quincy when the New Year fireworks were going off on Jan. 1, 1962.
Mr. Needens continued to farm at the original location southeast of George, eventually leasing out the farm property, at which time he devoted more time to gardening, always growing and canning more produce than he needed, as he enjoyed sharing the fruit of his labors with friends and neighbors.
In 2006, shortly before his wife’s passing, Ike and Wanda moved into Quincy to the home he was living in at the time of his passing.
During the last few years of his life, Ike loved going to Tuesday morning coffee at the Quincy Senior Center, the Thursday afternoon “Nip and Talk” at Dick and Rae Soelter’s, and Thursday night dinner and pinochle at the Senior Center. He was very disappointed when his health declined to the point that he couldn’t be a part of these activities that were such a bright spot for him. Though he made little effort to stay in touch with friends or family throughout his life, in the last year or two he was concerned if he didn’t see or hear from his buddies Mark Owens, Jim Fleming or Dick Soelter for more than a week or two and if Gar Pilliar, John Michael or Betty Seader were missing from the Tuesday coffee group. He appreciated and always had something good to say about the coffee group’s coordinator, Ruth MacKenzie.
Ike was predeceased by his wife, Wanda; his parents; brothers Walt, Ed, Bill and George; and sister Elsie Slusher.
Survivors include his two younger sisters, Hilda Anderson, of Sheridan, Wyo., and Helen Lind, of Othello; daughter, Rita Rene’; son Dwight Needens; grandchildren, Anthony Lutz and wife Barbara, Suzanne Wilson and husband Torry, and Jacob Lutz and wife Aimee; and 10 great-grandchildren, in order of birth: Bo Wilson, Peter Lutz, Dakota Wilson, Torrie Lynne Wilson, Jael Wilson, Reuben Lutz, Elias Lutz, Levi Lutz, Ezekiel Lutz and Ezra Lutz, all of whom are very gifted and destined to excel in this life.
A celebration of life service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Faith Community Church, 1005 10th Ave. SW, Quincy. Please leave a memory for the family or sign their online guestbook at www.scharbachs.com. Scharbach’s Columbia Funeral Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.