Former Kenai resident O. Wendell Honea died Sunday, Dec. 14, 2003. He was 81.
A memorial service will be held this summer at the family fish site at Salamatof beach.
Mr. Honea was born Sept. 2, 1922. He was the eldest son in a family of eight children and was raised in the desert of Marana, Ariz. He left high school a few months short of graduation to join the U.S. Marines in World War II. He served with the 2nd Marine Division in the South Pacific.
"Of great interest to his children and grandchildren were tales of heroic battles at Tarawa and Saipan in which he fought. He was an American patriot," his family said.
Following the war, Mr. Honea was stationed at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington. While there he met Joyce. They married in 1947 and remained on the island, starting an office equipment business and raising their four children, Ray, Lynn, Jan and Pat.
"In 1954 their lives were changed forever when they became Christians, devoting themselves to Jesus Christ," his family said.
One of the results of their conversion was opening their home to many children, including Carl Waggoner and Marty Baker.
In 1961, due to Mr. Honea's love of fishing, the family came to Alaska to explore the possibility of a commercial fishing business in Kenai. The Honeas purchased a fishing site on Salamatof Beach on the shores of Cook Inlet and established the family business, Azarel Fisheries. "Azarel" is from the Bible, meaning, "God has helped."
The Honea children and their spouses and children continue to fish that same site, fulfilling Mr. Honea's lifelong dream.
The Honeas moved to Boise, Idaho, in 1996 to be near family.
"Wendell is remembered and respected as a man of enthusiasm for Christ. He also is remembered for his adventurous spirit, great physical strength, mechanical genius, wisdom and devotion to family. He was well-loved by hundreds who hold images of his exuberant song-leading for various Nazarene congregations. He was a dedicated churchman who held many leadership positions," his family said.
"Another mental picture many hold dear is Wendell sitting on the bluff overlooking the waters and mountains of Cook Inlet watching with immense satisfaction and pride as his children and grandchildren worked the fishing business."
Mr. Honea is survived by his wife, Joyce; four children and their spouses, Ray and Darlene Honea of Burlington, Wash., Lynn and Bob Deakins, Pat and Don Glaze of Boise, and Jan and Vern Kornstad of Nikiski; and grandchildren, Will, Ben, Brent, Jana, Joye, Jill, Reid, Wende, Angie, Mary, Lindsy and Sally.
Notes to the family and memorial contributions may be sent for the ministry of Liberty Quartet, P.O. Box 4176, Boise, ID 83711.
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