Obituary of Wesley A Widner
Wesley Aaron “Babe” Widner, 93, passed away of natural causes at his home in Weiser on May 14, 2019.
Wes was born on December 27, 1925 in Saratoga, WY, to Wes Widner and Zeona Gardner Widner, joining his brother Jim, born one year prior. One year later, the family made their way to Nyssa, OR by covered wagon. In 1928, Wesley’s younger brother Melvin was born, and the family remained in Nyssa for the next eight years. In 1936, after his father took a position with the Union Pacific Railroad, the family moved to Weiser, Idaho, and have largely resided there since. In 1944, Wes joined the United States Marine Corps and saw significant action in Okinawa through the end of World War II, serving in the Marine Corps 1st Marine Division (Old Guard).
Following the end of the war, he spent nearly another year with the Marines engaged in post-war duties in China. In 1977, he and his then wife Glenda welcomed a daughter, Ari Widner, into the world. Wes was an avid and skilled outdoorsman, hunting deer, elk, and upland birds, and was one of the last people to have caught steelhead out of the Weiser River before the building of the three dams in Hell’s Canyon. Throughout the course of his life, Wes worked a variety of jobs, primarily with United States Forest Service building trails into Hell’s Canyon and the Seven Devils.
He was fortunate to enjoy a long and healthy retirement, living in close proximity to his family. He was well known for his nearly photographic memory and storytelling prowess, in addition to an excellent sense of humor, skill with a beanie flipper (slingshot), and for playing the mandolin. Wes remained very active into retirement, camping and cutting firewood, shooting with his daughter Ari, and playing basketball and ping-pong with his great-nieces and nephews. He continued hunting and fishing into his early 80’s, and to take long hikes until roughly the age of 90.
Uncle Babe, as he was known to many, was preceded in death by his parents, as well as his brothers Melvin and Jim. He is survived by his daughter, Ari Widner-Ford and her husband Tony; nephews John, Jim, and Jay Widner; and numerous other nieces and nephews and their respective children.
Arrangements by Thomason Funeral Home.