Henry J. Wessels passed away on April 17, 2014, in Battle Ground, WA. He was 82 years old. He was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, to Heinrich and Martha Wessels. In 1954, he immigrated to Astoria, Oregon, where his sisters and their families were living.
Prior to coming to the U.S., he was a member of the German Navy. Once established in the U.S., he joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Long Beach, California. During his youth and also while in the Navy, he was an amateur boxer. He won 14 of 15 matches as a heavyweight Navy boxer.
Following the Navy, he spent many years as a chief engineer with the Merchant Marines and sailed, primarily on oil tankers, throughout the world. He also, intermittently, sailed on the Astoria-based Salvage Chief with his brother-in-law, Capt. Reino Mattila and crew.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Thea (Meredith) and his sisters, Martha Nelson and Hedy Mattila. He is survived by his son Marcus and numerous nieces and nephews.
Henry was interested in both historical and current events. He enjoyed mechanical repairs and working on his properties. He loved all animals, and gave loving homes to numerous shelter dogs and cats over the years. His fascinating stories and great sense of humor will be dearly missed by his friends and family.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.