Random Acts of Living

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Harold C. Heinrichs, My Father

Heinrichs, Harold “Harry” C., peacefully joined heavens choir Thursday, September 10. Harold was born December 13, 1925 in Kirk, Colorado to Cornelius P. and Helena (Klassen) Heinrichs. He was the middle boy of five brothers and a little sister. At home Harold learned the qualities of Christ's love that carried him throughout his life. He also learned the joy of song and fellowship with friends and family. Harold also loved his country and December 8, 1943 he enlisted in the Marines. As a radio operator and tail gunner of a Hellcat he participated in the occupation of China. Sergeant Heinrichs, with a Good Conduct Medal was honorably discharged July 9, 1946. Upon his return, he worked with his brother, Arthur, as a blacksmith, did some farming and even worked as a rancher in the mountains of Colorado, his home state. He then made his way east to Goodland. It was there he met and married his wife of 59 years, Vida Nielee "Lee" Seigal, and became a foreman for Rhoads Construction. While at Rhoads, he met John Evans and Archie Lynch, his eventual business partners. After the three worked as sub-contractors on the first Learjet building in Wichita in 1960, they decided Wichita might be a good location to go into business for themselves. So, two years later, they founded Evans Building Co., which specialized in commercial and industrial construction where Harold worked till his retirement in 2007. At home Harold was involved in his Church, Southwest Presbyterian, as an Elder, adult Sunday School teacher and singing in the choir among other activities. He was active in Boys Scouts for many years, going on camp outs and teaching the boys songs around the campfire. In his community he was active in the Southwest Neighborhood Association whose concern was the welfare and safety of those living in the community. Another organization that Harold was deeply involved with was the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, being a National member and also a member, and on the board of, the local Golden Wheat Chapter. Through AHSGR Harold and his family shared a bond with others going back to ancestry of German colonies living in Russia for hundreds of years. By doing various volunteer work to raise funds, money sent to the National Headquarters helped to save and purchase vital documents that had been "lost" for years behind "the wall" dividing Russia from the rest of the world and Harold was able to connect with his Mennonite ancestry that had before been unknown. A hobby that he enjoyed was wood carving and he had a fondness for carving 3 dimensional pictures of covered bridges. In all this Harold shared his love of singing and a constant in his life was his guitar and song. Harold and his wife, sometimes accompanied by grandchildren traveled hundreds of miles many times over the years attending family reunions for both of their families. Harold loved and was greatly loved by all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren which he spent as much time with as he could. Harold is survived by his loving family; wife, Lee; son, Kent (Debbie); and daughters, Leann (Ben) Strobel, Norwich KS; Carol, Tucson AZ; grandchildren; Melissa (Aaron) Goodman; Jerry, Ted & Bobby Strobel; Shandy (Keith) Worsham, Shad (Melissa) Valentine, Harry & Jimmy Sammon; 16 great-grandchildren; brother, Wesley (Ann), sister, Kathy (Gordon) Fahlgren and sister-in-law Ima; many nieces and nephews and extended family John Ross, Lucy and Hong Fritts and Willa Applegate. Visitation at Resthaven Mortuary will begin Monday at 11am till 9pm Tuesday. Services will be at Southwest Presbyterian Church on Wednesday at 10am. Interment will be at Resthaven Cemetery at 11:30am. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to any of our Veterans groups or a charity of your personal preference.

The Wichita Eagle has also done a written an Obituary for the Business section in today's paper. I copy it here below...

The Wichita Eagle

In an industry where sharp words are often spoken, Harold "Harry" Heinrichs brought a sense of humor, kindness and respect to construction sites.

A co-founder of Evans Building Co., which has operated in Wichita since 1962, he also had a can-do attitude.

"He was the most congenial guy, easy to get along with," said Larry Hopper of Hopper's Glass, who worked for more than 40 years on job sites with Mr. Heinrichs. "Whatever he said went. All it took was a handshake. You didn't need a contract."

Mr. Heinrichs died Thursday at a Wichita hospital. He was 83.

In an interview with The Eagle shortly before Mr. Heinrichs retired in January 2008, his wife, Lee, recalled the time he fell 15 feet off a Brewster schoolhouse roof.

"I didn't fall off, I walked off," he said with a chuckle.

A native of Colorado, Mr. Heinrichs joined the Marines at the age of 18 and served in the Pacific during World War II. He returned to Colorado to work as a blacksmith, farmer and rancher.

He later moved to Goodland, where he met Lee. They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary Sept. 2 at the hospital.

Mr. Heinrichs helped found Evans Building with John Evans and Archie Lynch shortly after the three worked together at Rhoads Construction in Goodland.

Bill Johnson, now president of Evans Building and John Evans' nephew, has been with the company full time since 1973.

"Harry wasn't afraid to teach you anything," Johnson said. "And he always looked at the good side no matter what was going on."

As the company's general superintendent, Mr. Heinrichs was on the front line in dealing with customers.

"They liked him because he was a hands-on guy," Johnson said. "There was nothing he couldn't build."

During Evans Building's early years, it bid on a contract for a particularly large, complex structure for an Emporia company.

Johnson said the company owner called Mr. Heinrichs and asked, "Have you ever built anything like this?"

"No, I haven't," Mr. Heinrichs replied.

"Can you do it?," the owner asked.

"It goes together one piece at a time," Mr. Henrichs replied, "so it won't be a problem."

Johnson said that was typical of Mr. Heinrichs.

"There wasn't anything he was afraid to tackle," Johnson said. "He kept it simple."

For a number of years before he officially retired, Mr. Heinrichs came to work three days a week to repair equipment and tools.

"He was very caring and fun-loving," Kent Heinrichs said of his father. "I don't know if he ever met a stranger. He liked people."

Mr. Heinrichs was also a former deacon at his church, Southwest Presbyterian, and in recent years was active with the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

Besides his wife and son, he is survived by two daughters, Leann Strobel and Carol Heinrichs.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Southwest Presbyterian Church, 1511 W. 27th St. South. Interment is at 11:30 a.m. at Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery, 11800 W. Kellogg.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lost Ladybug Project

In Sunday's Wichita Eagle I saw the following article...

Scientists in search of nation's lost ladybugs
Associated Press

ITHACA, N.Y. —A year after they launched a nationwide search for dwindling native ladybugs, New York researchers are breeding colonies of them from insects found by citizen scientists in Oregon and Colorado....

The article gave a link to the project's website (here). If you're looking for an interesting project to do with your children, this one has all sorts of resources.
I'm always seeing ladybugs in my garden and have noted that they don't all look the same, so this was quite interesting to me. Today I went out with my camera and found the one below on the okra. After looking at the picture on my computer I believe that there were also larva, most noticeably to the left (possibly two?) and then to the right. All out of focus. This ladybird, it's actual name, looks to be a seven spotted, an import from Asia.
The next one I found on a cucumber leaf, it's a Multicolored Asian.
And this larva was scurrying around on a leaf beneath it.
Many years ago I found a mass of these larva on the cement foundation of my house that is kept warm being on the south side in the sun. At that time I didn't have a clue WHAT they were. After doing some research I finally that they were ladybird beetles. Amazing the transformation they make. So grab your cameras and head outdoors for a ladybug/ladybird beetle hunt, maybe YOU have some nine spot in your yard.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Small Town Snapshot Sunday #14

Bountiful Harvest!

With the weather being cooler than usual I've been going out to collect from my garden every other day and every time I have at least two of these baskets full of vegetables. I am currently giving away vegetables to friends and family because my freezer is full.

On Sundays our little town is usually very quiet. This afternoon I put two baskets of vegetables in my bike cart and rode over to my daughter's house. She only took a few yellow tomatoes and a bell pepper. I thought I might find someone else out enjoying the weather to give some veggies to but the streets were pretty empty. I did find my daughter's neighbor getting out of her car and she took one zucchini. I rode to my dil's house and she took the rest of the tomatoes and the other bell pepper. Her mother was there visiting and she took the zucchini off my hands to give out at where she works. I really hate for veggies to go to waste.

Update on my dad: He had gone home on Friday but was back in the hospital Saturday night, low blood pressure.

Small Town Snapshot Sunday

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

59th Wedding Anniversary

My mom and dad were married September 2, 1950... 59 years ago today.
I called my mother this morning and wished her "Happy Anniversary?" The question in my voice because dad is in the hospital. She said that she was going to go to the store before going up to the hospital and get dad a red rose.
I went to the hospital later because I wanted to get a picture of them together for their anniversary.
We're hoping that dad can go home on Friday. We'll just have to wait and see.

I LOVE YOU, Mom & Dad!