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Virginia Wedel: 100 years’ young

Posted by: tdt -

Virginia Wedel: 100 years’ young

By Drew Stegall


Long time Dalhart resident Virginia Wedel will be celebrating her 100th birthday today, Tuesday July 13. Her life has been full and adventurous as she has traveled the world and continues to work to this day.

Wedel was born in 1921 in Sherman County. She was born as the second of four children in her family. Wedel has mostly lived right here in Dalhart and attends the First Baptist Church, and has lived in the United States her entire life.

Because of her father’s work, Wedel moved around quite a bit. Her first school was a one room school near Texhoma. She then attended school here at Bunker Hill. Wedel went back and forth from here to Missouri.

She graduated from high school in Archie, Missouri. On several occasions she would ride her horse four miles into town and leave it at the corral at the convenience store so she could attend school. On nights that she played basketball she would stay in a bedroom above the convenience store and ride her horse home the next day.

After graduating high school, Wedel found work at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in California during WWII. She worked on the motors that were used on aircrafts during that time.

Wedel then moved back to Dalhart because she had family here. That is where she met her husband who had moved from Kansas to farm. They put down roots here in Dalhart and started their family, eventually having two children. Wedel and her husband were farming in Dalhart during the Dustbowl. “It was just absolutely horrible.” Wedel said. “Some days you couldn’t see light come out of the window. We would scoop the sand out with a scoop. We could see this big cloud coming and in ten minutes you couldn’t see daylight. We would hang wet sheets on the windows and when they got completely black we would wash them out in a big bathtub to clean the dirt out. It was so dry that the lumber in the houses would dry up.”

Wedel has been to London and Paris as she helped her daughter, Marsha Cunningham, lead a school trip there. She was 87 years old when she went on this trip. During the trip they had a day where they walked seventeen miles and Wedel kept up the whole time. She currently works at Dalhart Federal Savings & Loans where she is a receptionist. She started working there twelve years ago. Wedel acquired her current job through her son-in-law who was the bank’s CEO.

“I guess just being happy and satisfied.” Wedel said when asked about her key to living a long life. Her advice for the next generation is simple. “Work hard and be honest."

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