Adrian Douglas Wantt, Sr. was called home on October 25, 2020 at the age of 89, following a hard-fought three-week battle with COVID-19.
He was born on January 21, 1931 in Covelo to Albert and Rafella Wantt. He was a proud member of the Round Valley Indian Tribe. As a child he lived his early years in Covelo before moving to Nashmead, Calif. where as a youth he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with his brothers and sisters. He often reminisced about riding his ole stubborn horse, Warpaint around the hills of Nashmead hunting deer and wild boar. At the age of 16, Dad left home and went to work for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad where his uncle Claude Hoaglen found him a job. He worked briefly with the “Steel Gang” before working with the “Section Gang” and eventually transferring to Alderpoint, where he would work with his dad, Albert. Those were fond memories for our father.
Dad was drafted in 1953 during the Korean War and was stationed in Germany where he served proudly with the Army 1st Division. While there, Dad met the love of his life, our mom, Elisabeth Baumann. They married on May 14, 1955. Upon his discharge from the Army, Dad brought his bride home, eventually living in Eureka where Dad found work in the timber industry. He worked at the Van Vleet planer mill in Arcata, transferring in 1965 to the Van Vleet planer mill in the Hoopa Valley. It was there in Hoopa Dad and Mom would raise their family, later settling in Willow Creek.
Dad always worked hard to provide for his family, eventually working his way up to be the Planer Foreman. We can remember a time when Dad and his longtime buddy Henry McCullough worked dayshift at the then Cal-Pacific Manufacturing Co. and nightshift at the Humboldt Fir Lumber Co. They worked a double shift for over a year. Dad also took pride in operating the Edger at Cal-Pacific and at Burnt Ranch Lumber. Dad enjoyed working in the lumber mills, working with friends, Collin Pole, Franklin Lewis, Specky McCovey, Harvey McCardie, George Baily, Laura Ferris and Jim Graham, just to name a few. When the lumber mills shut down in the Klamath-Trinity area, Dad obtained a class “A” commercial Driver License, taking the Driver course at College of the Redwoods. He quickly went to work driving logging truck, working for Dutra Trucking, where he enjoyed working with his buddy Virgil Green who was loading trucks up in the woods. He also worked for Redwood Coast and Paul Jackson trucking, where he enjoyed working with Popeye and Doomie Beck, Junky and Bud Gray. He retired in 1995.
In retirement Dad and Mom enjoyed driving around the community, running across friends and visiting a while or taking a drive to Eureka or Redding, to try their luck at the casino and enjoy a good meal. They always ran into somebody they knew. Dad was an avid Oakland Raider fan. His favorite Raider team was the 1970s Oakland Raiders with Ken Stabler and crew. He also enjoyed following the PBR and all Rodeo events. Dad’s first priority was his family, our mom Elisabeth and his four kids Deter, Joanna, Debbie and Adrian Jr. He and Mom never missed a sporting event or activity involving their kids or grandkids. In the early 1970s Dad and Mom were active members of the Hoopa High School booster club where they had met and sustained many lifelong friendships throughout the Klamath-Trinity community. Dad was always there for his family, willing to help in anyway or hand down great advice when troubled times would come. Dad never balked at sharing what was on his mind, good or bad, no difference if you were family or friend. He always spoke from his heart. He was also quick to have a joke or tease in his loving way with his great sense of humor.
In 2018 we lost our Mom to cancer. Upon her passing a part of Dad went with her, after being married for 62 years. Dad attended Salyer Wayside Chapel and enjoyed his church family, he would always joke saying, “Be careful if you sit by me, the roof may cave in.” We are comforted at the fact that both Dad and Mom grew to have a relationship with our Lord Jesus and to know that they are together again in heaven with family and friends, who Dad missed so much. Dad and Mom, we couldn’t have asked for better parents, you were truly a blessing from God. This is not goodbye forever, just goodbye for now.
Adrian is proceeded in death by his wife Elisabeth, his parents Albert and Rafella Wantt, his brothers: Ernest, Grover, Archie Sr. and Ralph Wantt, Kenneth and Floyd Wright, and Robert Whipple.
His sisters: Opal Wantt, Glennis Leggett, and Donna Stillwell.
Brothers-in-law: Wayne Stillwell and Charlie Stillwell.
Sisters-in-law: Beverly Wantt, Phyllis Wantt.
Adrian is survived by his children: Deter Wantt of Berch Bay, Wash., Joanna (Pete) Tonkin of Willow Creek, Debbie (Bob) Dickson of Willow Creek and Adrian (Tina) Wantt Jr. of Salyer.
Grandchildren : Krenda, Patti and Tessie Wantt, Arthur (Gail) Tonkin, Anthony (Janelle) Tonkin, Amanda (Cody) Vanourney, Chelsey Dickson, Michael Dickson, Doug (Calli) Dickson, Adrianna Wantt, and Natalie Wantt.
Great-grandchildren: Montgomery, Steven, and Kane Walton. Bryn, Brenna, Brielle, Brea, and Bradlee Tonkin, Sam Morris, Jack and Luke Vanourney, and Anthony Tonkin.
Sister: Nada Stillwell of Alderpoint.
Uncle: Claude Hoaglin of Dos Rios.
A special place in his heart for nieces, Audreena Wantt of Alderpoint, Heather Mace of Willow Creek and Shirley Vanderwich of Santa Rosa.
Dad is survived by numerous nieces and nephews – too many to list here.We apologize if we left anyone out.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, November 7 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Salyer Wayside Chapel; refreshments will be provided. At 1:45 the hearse will lead a procession to the VFW Cemetery in Willow Creek. At 2 p.m. Pastor Toni Burchard will officiate a graveside service with burial to follow. Due to COVID-19, social distancing will be practiced.
Pallbearers: Arthur Tonkin, Anthony Tonkin, Michael Dickson, Douglas Dickson, Cody Vanourney, Archie Wantt , Albert Wantt, and Shannon Stillwell.
Honorary Pallbearers: Douglas Stillwell, Ken Robinson, Terry Robinson, Nick Nemcosky, Gary Stillwell, Gerald Stillwell, Junior Stillwell, Bob Dickson, Pete Tonkin, Willie Hoaglen, Buck Mace, Dylan Mace, Mike Roberts, Ted Johnson, Brad Wickerd, Rick Fork and Merv Geroge Jr.
Our deepest appreciation and thanks to Dr. Eva Smith of K’ima:w Medical Center for all the care given to Dad though out the years, Dr. Lai, Dr. Chen, and Nursing Staff at St. Joseph Hospital for the care given while Dad was in the ICU, Pastor Toni Burchard of Salyer Wayside Chapel and our church family for all the loving prayers and support, Humboldt Health Nurse Marilyn Powell for helping us navigate through Dad’s battle with COVID-19, and the many friends throughout the community who have given us so much love and support.
We as a family urge everyone to please take the COVID-19 virus seriously. We never thought it would affect our family but it did and in the end it sent our Dad home.
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