Wendell Wehlander- Canadian Entrepreneur, Businessman, Visionary
Wendell Wehlander Feb 10, 1936 – Dec 11, 2016
I knew Wendell firstly the late 1960's when he came into Mike Hackman Aircraft Sales at Edmonton Municipal Airport. I was only 14 years old at the time. He had just come back from Saudi Arabia as a consultant. What struck me was his strong presence, vitality great humour and a special (and expensive) puzzle ring he had brought back. That first impression stayed with me for years to come. I was reintroduced to Wendell in the early 1980's when he offered his company Cessna 206 CF-FIX, from Mission Mud, a Calgary, AB oil field servicing company that he owned for use in our flight operation when I did some flying for Charlie Fix. He offered it carte blanche with no restrictions with such generosity. It was simply amazing. I lost contact with him for years after that short stint. We became reacquainted in the 1990's when I moved to the Sunshine Coast and found out he lived in the same area as to where I located to. He owned and operated a small float operation air charter business called Coast Western Airlines, operating a Cessna 180 and DHC2 Beaver on floats based in Sechelt, BC. He offered me to be part of the operation flying for them but I chose to not fly for them. I visited him in his trailer in Garden Bay Lake one day and he phoned up Mike Hackman right when I was having a coffee with hime. Another time we joined each other in the Garden Bay pub for a few cool ones to chat about experiences we shared. Everything had gone full circle from my first meeting him in Edmonton from many years before. He was an excellent businessman and generous to a fault. I believe people like Wendell need to have their stories told as they were legends, leaders and true businessman who made a difference in their community.
A very special comment of condolence from a gentleman named Bob Buchanan who knew Wendell: “Wow thank you for posting this notice for Wendell! I had lost track of my dear friend for a good many years, and he was not active on the www. Periodically I look for him, as I did today. I was from his Mission Mud days in Oklahoma, and his guest numerous times in Alberta and B.C. Many have been blessed by Wendell's bold but gentle spirit, his generosity, and humor. An adventurer, a risk-taker, a visionary entrepreneur, and the finest friend a person could ever have. That is my Wendell”.
I was a lucky man indeed to have met and known such a man in Wendell Welander., both early in my life and later to revisit him later on the Sunshine Coast. A lucky man indeed.