Karel Franciscus Wanders was born Sept. 25, 1921, in Heerlen, The Netherlands. His parents were Franciscus Hendricus Wanders and Maria Clara Voraschen Wanders. He passed away on Nov. 13, 2008, in Elmo, Utah, attended by the caring folks at Turnquist Retreat.
Karel married Elise Johanna Crapels on Nov. 18, 1947 in Brunssum, The Netherlands. She passed away on April 14, 2005. They were true pioneers, leaving The Netherlands shortly after they were married. They waited for five years in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, then moved to Rupert, Idaho. Later he was an electrician at the gilsonite mine in Bonanza, Utah. Then they moved to Orem, Utah, where he was employed by U.S. Steel - Geneva Works until he retired. He was an electrician for Central Maintenance. After retirement he and Elly loved to spend the winters camping in Arizona, Nevada, and California.
Karel had a great sense of humor - he was always the life of the party. He'll make things cheerful for everyone in heaven, but we're not sure if his mischief will be tolerated. He was a stubborn man who made sure his children did what was right. But every night when they went to bed he'd make the Sign of the Cross on their forehead and tuck them into "their nest." He was generous in helping them financially, spiritually, and with his wisdom. He built two campers and got the whole family interested in camping.
He loved to "tinker" and could repair almost anything, especially if it was electronic. He did not like to cook or garden, but still managed to keep his yard immaculate. Elly spent six years in a care center and he went there every day to feed her lunch and dinner and tuck her into bed. He tried to keep in touch with all the Dutch relatives. Though he was sometimes homesick for his beautiful green Holland with its abundant rainfall, he was a patriotic naturalized citizen of the United States. As a worker for U.S. Steel, he refused to buy foreign vehicles and has ingrained that attitude into his children. And woe to the person who got into a political argument with him.
Karel was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Knights of Columbus. He was a faithful Catholic parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Church.
He is survived by three children: Betty (Paul) Moore - Castle Dale; Carl (Lesa) Wanders - Lehi; and Nance (Evan - deceased) Johnson - Castle Dale. He has four grandchildren: Elise (Rob) Bean - Saratoga Springs; Chad (Michelle) Wanders - Lehi; Kristie and Kyle Johnson - Castle Dale. Also four great-grandchildren: Colton and Nicole Wanders, and Brendan and Brady Bean. And his brother, Sjef Wanders, and sister, Fien Langeveld, of The Netherlands.
Karel and his family are especially grateful to his many kind friends and caretakers, especially his good friend Glen from Senior Services, Carrie and Tammy at Heritage Care Center (American Fork), the fantastic staff at Turnquist Retreat (Elmo), his great doctors, friends, neighbors, and people who made his life enjoyable.
There was a rosary service to honor Karel at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17, at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem, with a chance to visit afterwards. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, there will be a time to visit at 10 a.m. with the funeral at 11 a.m. at the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 65 East 500 North in Orem.