World War II veteran Wesley Eugene Mathena, 88, died at his home in Kettle Falls on July 22, 2011. The son of Roy and Lessie (Parrish), he was born in Grainger, Missouri on Jan. 27, 1923.
Wesley was raised in Illinois, where he attended school and graduated from Blandinsville High School. He enlisted in the United States Navy and was part of an elite group of radarmen being assigned to the South Pacific on PT.
After the war, he returned to the Midwest and married Luella Parish in Fort Madison, Iowa on Jan. 16, 1946. This year they celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary.
Wesley spent his working years as a postal carrier and clerk in Fort Madison, where they lived and raised their family. He retired from the U.S. Post Office in 1979 and he and Luella moved to Stevensville, Montana. Family vacations had always been to visit and camp in Montana and Colorado. It was Wesleyâ€™s love of the mountains that led them to the Bitterroot Valley. He also worked in the postal department of University of Montana. A good hike in the mountains or around Lake Como was a perfect day for Wesley.
In 2008 Wes and Luella relocated to Kettle Falls to be near their sons.
He was a member of the Colville Christian Church and had spent all his adult life involved in church activities.
Survivors include his wife, Luella; son, Steve, Kettle Falls; son, Randy (Peggy), Arden; grand-daughter, Sarah (Matt) Miller, Long Beach; grand-daughter, Carly Mathena (Mike Wahler), Mill Creek; great-grandchildren, Marcus, Cody, Alex and Madelyn.
The family would like to express heartfelt thanks to Spokane Hospice for their help and support.
A Memorial service celebrating his life will be Sunday, August 7 at noon at Colville Christian Church (828 S. Summit), with refreshments following.
Memorials may be made to Kettle Falls Food Bank. His guestbook is available at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .