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Wendell E. Miskimins

Posted October 18, 2013 in Obituaries, Urbandale

March 29, 1929 – October 16, 2013

Wendell Miskimins

Wendell Miskimins

Wendell Elmer Miskimins, 84, son of Frank and Zeola Miskimins of Seymour, Iowa passed away peacefully on the morning of Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

Wendell was born March 29, 1929, joining his three older brothers; Harold, Close and Rex.

Preceding him in death are his parents, the love of his life his wife Esther, brothers Harold and Close, and his oldest son Frank.

His family will greet friends beginning at 9 a.m., Monday, Merle Hay Funeral Home at 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines with a memorial service to follow at 11:00.

Wendell graduated from Promise City High School in 1947. Wendell began teaching at the age of 19 in Wayne County while attending Northeast Missouri State during the summers to obtain teacher certification. He taught math, science and also coached Jr. High athletics.

In 1952 Wendell married Esther Schleisman. They were married for 59 years, until her death in December, 2011. Also in the spring of 1952, Wendell and Esther purchased the Palmer Drug Sundries in Palmer, Iowa. Wendell managed the store and also continued his education at Buena Vista College where he earned his Bachelor’s in Education in 1955. Later in 1955, they sold the Drug Store and returned to teaching in Pomeroy, Iowa.

In 1957, Wendell and Esther moved to Des Moines where Wendell continued his education at Drake University and taught at Woodside. He joined the staff of the Des Moines School District in 1958. He taught at Weeks and then moved to North High School in 1959. At North he became the athletic director, concessions manager and work study coordinator. While teaching, Wendell continued his education earning his Masters Degree in 1966. In 1967, Wendell started his administrative duties as Vice Principal of the then new Hoover High School. In May of 1973, he was appointed Principal of McCombs Middle School. In 1981, Wendell accepted a new challenge as Principal of Weeks Junior High. In 1994, he retired from Weeks and the Des Moines School District after 36 years of service. After retirement he continued his love of children and drove a school bus for Southeast Polk School District for 10 years.

Wendell’s achievements are long and many. He was always busy and never met a stranger. A few of his achievements include: Promise City Alumni Association Chair, Administrator of the year, presented key to City of Des Moines, Exalted Ruler of the Des Moines Elks Lodge, Elk of the year, Chairman of the Southeast Polk Water District, served on the board of St. Vincent DePaul and St. Ambrose Cathedral where he became a Lector, read weekly and also served communion.

Wendell loved the outdoors as a farm boy growing up in Southern Iowa. In 1976, he was able to move outside of Des Moines, buy some farm land and build a new home. He was quite a collector and managed to fill up the home and a few large buildings with “his finds”. Wendell also loved to garden and had one of the biggest and best in Polk County. He also enjoyed traveling and playing cards with his friends. Wendell and Esther also enjoyed eating dinner at various spots throughout Iowa. From the Amanas, to Derby, to Enterprise, Iowa. No place was too big or small, they loved them all.

Wendell will be missed by his family, daughter Mary (Steven) Peterson, son Michael (Deedra) Miskimins; daughter in law Joni Miskimins; his grandchildren: Joshua (Jacqueline) Miskimins, Jessica (Lucas) Millage, Amanda Bell, Ashley Miskimins, Michael Bell and Andrea Miskimins; his great grandchildren, Ryann Millage and Frankie Miskimins; his brother, Rex Miskimins and sister in law, Bernadine Simons.

Memorial contributions in his memory may be given to the family and designated to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Animal Rescue League.

Information provided by:
Merle Hay Funeral Home
4400 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

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