Wilhelm “Helmi/Willie” Dehmer, passed away on August 27, 2021 at his home in Yankton, South Dakota after a long, courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his beloved wife and caregiver, Anneliese and his stepson Andreas.
Family and friends are invited to attend Wilhelm’s Celebration of Life gathering on Saturday, October 23rd at 2:30 p.m. at Wintz & Ray Funeral Home, 2901 Douglas Ave., Yankton, SD. In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation to support the Mission of Avera Foundation Cancer Research at Sioux Falls (www.aveafoundationevents.org).
Wilhelm was born in Schongau, Germany, on October 26, 1946 to Maria Dehmer and was adopted, loved and raised by his grandparents, Josef and Viktoria Dehmer. Early on in his life, his grandfather, who was a professional hunter, instilled in him respect for all creatures, wild or domesticated and his love of nature. His childhood companion was his dog, Astor, a German shepherd, who protected and watched over him on his outdoor adventures.
He received his elementary and secondary education through the German school system and graduated with an Electrical Journeyman degree. Wilhelm was respected in his profession and worked as an Electrician in Germany, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf, and since 1990 here in the states of South Dakota and Iowa. He was a valued, skilled long-time employee of Bauer Electric and the last seven years of his career he worked as an Electrician at K.P.I. Kolberg Pioneer until his retirement in 2012.
At the age of 21 he married his first wife, Adelheid and excitedly welcomed his only son, Manfred into his life. In 1988 Wilhelm moved to Yankton, to reunite with his mother, Maria (Dehmer) Wampol and his half-brother and sister, Gene and Betty.
Wilhelm had a most endearing smile which won him the love of his life, Anneliese, who moved with him from Germany to Yankton, where they married and lived in a devoted, loving relationship for more than 33 years until the time of his death. Together they built their own home with just a Skill saw, a hammer and lots of muscle power and sweat. Wilhelm took gratification in planting numerous evergreens and shrubs on their property, and he found pleasure in nursing several maple trees from tiny seedlings into stately trees. His wife planted a big flower garden and a small vegetable plot which he tended to, weeding and harvesting the fruits of his labor.
Together with his wife, Wilhelm had a passion for traveling. He visited many European countries, Canada, Mexico, cruised the Inside Passage of Alaska, the Caribbean and Mediterranean Sea. The highlight of his travels was a visit to the Holy Land and he especially loved the Hawaiian Islands. He was an outdoors man and enjoyed boating on the Lewis and Clark Lake in summer, hunting in fall and winter and, especially, target shooting year-round. He was a member of the Sharpshooters Club of Yankton for more than 30 years and took pride in being an avid shooter and excellent marksman. Wilhelm will be missed as a respected colleague, a good neighbor and dear friend.
His love and memories will be cherished and kept alive by his adoring wife, Anneliese, son Manfred, and stepson Andreas. Survivors are a brother, Frank “Gene” Wampol of Yankton and sister, Betty Zimmerman of Scotland, SD, a nephew and nieces. Cousins and in-law families in Germany and Belgium. Wilhelm was welcomed in heaven by his grandparents, his mother, a cherished uncle and dear friends.
The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Avera Prairie Center Cancer Institute and the Avera@Home Hospice team for their thoughtful service and tender care.