WINTHROP- Theodore “Ted” John Wieland of Winthrop, IA died on Oct 23, 2021, at age 71 in MercyOne Hospital of Des Moines after battling post-COVID complications for nearly three months.
Ted was born March 10, 1950, in Dubuque, IA to Harlyn and Alberta Wieland. While he spent his early days in southwest Wisconsin, the family later moved to rural Winthrop, Iowa where they established a farmstead, cultivating corn, soybeans, and livestock. Growing up on the farm with his three brothers and two sisters was quite the adventure. Dean and Ted especially liked to get in trouble. One time Ted convinced younger brother Dean to hold out a used tire so he could practice shooting his arrow through it. You can guess how that story ended. Ted and his brothers and sisters also had their regionally known family band which played in large venues all over the Midwest. Ted is remembered by his siblings as being a doer, never a complainer, and a quick thinker and decision maker.
Ted attended East Buchanan High School, graduating in 1968 and later graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Music in 1972. At UNI, Ted bumped into Mary Lee Bertch during marching band practice, and they married years later In Gilbertville, Iowa on Oct 14, 1972. They were married for 49 years. Ted and Mary welcomed children David in 1978, followed by Chris (1981), Michael (1984), Daniel (1989), Maresa (1997), and Lauren (2001). Ted and Mary loved to travel together, making many memorable trips with family, friends, and
business associates. They loved family ski trips, vacationing in the Caribbean, and the many trips to Canada fishing. Ted was an honorable, generous, and faithful husband in every aspect of his life.
After college, Ted worked briefly at John Deere while farming at his family farm and developing a new hardwood company with Mary at their home in Raymond, Iowa. When Harlyn passed away in 1978, Ted and his brothers assumed their family farming operations.
A few years later, Ted and his brothers made the difficult decision to trade-in their combines and tractors for sawmills and forklifts as they went all-in on the budding hardwood company. This venture would later become Wieland & Sons Lumber Company. Within the decade, it grew to become one of the Midwest’s largest hardwood manufacturers, employing hundreds of folks from the area and shipping its products to over 27 countries. Ted was fortunate to partner closely with Mary’s two brothers at their companies Bertch and Omega cabinets. Mary and Ted enjoyed traveling across the globe to meet customers and partners in places like Japan, the Black Forest of Germany, Denmark, France, Spain, and Italy. Ted was loved by many in the industry, evidenced by recent condolences pouring in from around the world from the many friends he made over the nearly five decades he spent in the trade.
Ted was a model father. He demonstrated the importance and utility of hard work. Ted’s strategy for keeping his kids out of trouble was to keep them busy. It mostly worked. Ted was a perfectionist in many ways and made sure his kids knew that doing something halfway didn’t count. While he was usually quite serious about getting things done, done well, and done on time, he also often laughed so uncontrollably hard he would cry. He modeled how to be a successful business owner, not only giving his kids a front row seat to the show but offering them supporting roles. He demonstrated generosity in time, resources, love, and charity to his family, company, church, and community while asking nothing in return. He shared his love of the outdoors: hiking through timbers, fishing far away from civilization, and hunting on family farms and ranches in Montana. Finally, he gave to his children the ultimate gift of confidence, providing them space to try, fail, and try again, always quietly rooting for them.
Ted loved his fourteen grandkids so much. While he would pretend to put up a fight, Ted could almost never say “no” to any of them and even if they wrecked his UTVs many, many times, they could never do any wrong in his eyes. As mentioned, one of Ted’s great loves was fishing. With brother Dean, Ted owned an island on Lake of the Woods in Canada at which he hosted countless family and friends. Wieland Island was Ted’s happy place. Ted was quietly a master fisherman who knew all the best spots and anyone who ever visited the island knows that there was always an abundance of fresh fish for dinner. Ted’s evenings on the island were spent playing cards, enjoying Crown Royal and Diet Cokes, and preparing gear for the next day’s fishing adventure.
Ted is survived by his wife Mary, children David (Sarah), Christopher (Erin), Michael (Megan), Daniel (Krissy), Maresa, and Lauren, brothers Jeff and Paul Wieland, sister Paula Miller, grandchildren Kale, Graham, Sofia, Brielle, Evelyn, Alexander, Westin, Emerson, Elise, Braden, Eli, Theo, and Anniston.
Ted is preceded in death by his parents, brother Dean Wieland, sister Mary Jo Sloan, nephew David Sloan, and granddaughter Amelia Claire Wieland.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday October 30, 2021, at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Independence, IA.
Visitation will be held Friday from 3 to 8 pm at Reiff Family Center – Funeral Home and Crematory in Winthrop.
Burial will be held at St. John’s Patrick’s Cemetery in Winthrop.
To leave an on-line condolence please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com under obituaries.