Apr. 19, 1940 to Apr. 21, 2008

Wilmer Lawrence Bechtel was born April 19, 1940, to Norman and Irene (Sauder) Bechtel of Spring City, Pa. He passed away peacefully Monday, April 21, 2008, in Oregon City after a long battle with dementia. He was 68.

Wilmer grew up on a dairy farm. As a teen, he worked for a time in a grocery store. In his youth, he committed his life to the Lord, was baptized and became a member of the Vincent Mennonite Church. He remained faithful to this commitment until death. On June 24, 1961, Wilmer and Faythelma Brothers were married in Battle Creek, Mich., by his father, Norman, at the Heath Street Mennonite Church.

In 1970, the family left Michigan and headed west to Oregon, settling in the Estacada area. Wilmer and Fay became members of the Porter Mennonite Church in 1971. The church and school became an important part of their lives for more than 35 years.

Wilmer became an apt carpenter, known for his conscientious, honest and careful work. He did framing and remodeling for nearly 30 years. In later years he did maintenance work at Grace House in Estacada. He enjoyed working for and with older folks.

Wilmer will be remembered as methodical, exacting and serious. He will also be remembered for his large hands and his strong, gripping friendly handshake.

Preceding him in death were his father, Norman, brother, Harold, sister, Dorothea, and daughter, Cynthia.

Surviving are his wife, Faythelma, three biological children, and five adopted children: Merlin (and Carol) of Sumrall, Miss.; Nolan (and Annette) of Estacada; Sonya (Mrs. Jesse) Miller of LaMonte, Mo.; Flor (Mrs. Freddie) Rodriguez of El Dorado Springs, Mo.; Miriam (Mrs. Juan) Lopez of Mulino, Ore.; Roni (and Lisa) of Canby, Ore.; Joshua of Estacada; and Matthew of Oregon City. Also surviving are his mother Irene of Souderton, Pa.; and five sisters: Geri (Mrs. Paul) Stiedle of Calico Rock, Ark.; Eleanor (Mrs. Earl) Fuhrman of Hanover, Pa.; Lois (Mrs. Lowell) Gerber of Lititz, Pa.; Lorraine (Mrs. Mike) Sayre of Navarre, Ohio; and Doris (Mrs. Bob) Schmehl of Wyomissing, Pa. There are 28 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The funeral service was held at the Porter Mennonite Church in Estacada on April 26. Estacada Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

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