Wyland, Alvan Donald (Plank Owner)

Obituary as published in Arizona Obituary Archive - Alvin Donald Wyland, 77, of Williamsburg, died Friday, February 25 of heart failure at the Tucson Heart Hospital in Arizona. Funeral services: 10:30 A.M. Saturday, March 5, 2005 at the First Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg with Rev. James Stewart officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Williamsburg, with military honors. Friends may call from 4 to 8 P.M. Friday, March 4, 2005 at the church. Memorials may be contributed to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society in Alvin’s name. Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo is in charge of arrangements.

Alvin was born in Kensington, Kansas on May 27, 1927 to John Donald Wyland and Marie Ann Norden Wyland. He attended primary school through 8th grade in Almena, Kansas. In 1941 his family moved to San Gabriel, California, in Los Angeles County. From there they moved to Fresno where Alvin was graduated from Fresno High School in June 1945. In February 1945, while World War Two was still in progress, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. At that time the Coast Guard was an arm of the U.S. Navy. For training, Alvin was temporarily assigned to the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Haynsworth, DD700. Following that, he was assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sebago, similar to a navy destroyer, where he served until discharged in May 1946.

On August 27,1955 Alvin and Bonnie Lou Menzmer were married in Fresno. Alvin was graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1957 with a B.S. in Engineering. After graduation Alvin accepted employment with General Electric Company.

In April of 1980 Alvin and Bonnie were involved in an automobile accident; Bonnie did not survive. On February 12, 1983 he married Loretta Williams at the First Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg. Alvin practiced engineering for 33 years as a design engineer, retiring in 1990 from Amana Refrigeration, Inc. in Amana, Iowa.

As a young boy, Alvin took a five-dollar airplane ride at a local carnival after which he developed a love of airplanes, flight, and the skies that remained a part of him all his life. He kept and flew many small airplanes over the years and between 1970 and 1990, worked meticulously to build his own Starduster Too, an open-cockpit biplane, which he enjoyed flying for several years. Throughout his career and in retirement, he published technical and magazine articles and received ten patents for a variety of inventions. Alvin enjoyed Ham radio, painting, music, astronomy, historical and scientific reading, wildlife, thunderstorms, and time with his family. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who remained involved and dedicated to the members of his family every day of his life.

Surviving Alvin are his wife Loretta; his three daughters, Lisa Marie Wyland of Silver Springs, MD, Nancy Gayle Newkirk and husband Ramon of Solon, IA, Janet Wyland Grondin and husband Patrick of Fairfax, VA; two stepchildren, Scott Dwight Williams and wife Robin of Williamsburg, IA, Peggy Swick and husband Bill of Cedar Rapids, IA; a brother, David Carl Wyland and wife Kathy of Morgan Hill, CA, and a sister, Jessie Marie Johnson of Sweet Home, OR. Alvin had eight grandchildren: Alex and Miles Newkirk, Joseph and Donald Grondin, Jennifer and Shanna Williams, and Michael and Katherine Swick, and a host of nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Bonnie, a newborn son, Donald Scott Wyland, mother and father Marie and John Wyland, and his sister Alice Marie Grundt.

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