Wesley K. Eben
Wesley Karl Eben, 69, of Hardin, died Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, of complications resulting from bone cancer. He was born on Dec. 22, 1947 in Paris, Tex. a son of Richard and Marguerite Eben.
His formative years were spent in Mesquite, Tex. where he graduated from Mesquite High School and also where he met Barbara vonZurmuehlen who became his wife of 48 years! He loved his family.
A football scholarship led him to Austin College in Sherman, Tex. There he earned a bachelor’s a degree in psychology and later was inducted into the Austin College Football Hall of Fame. He loved football.
He spent eight years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, after being drafted into military service in 1971, where he experienced the exhilarating joy of flying the A-6 Intruder. He served an additional 10 years in the Navy Reserve and finished his military career with the rank of Commander. He also earned his private pilot’s license and became a flight instructor. He loved to fly.
After finishing a two-year course of Bible study at Shiloh Training Institute in Hamilton, Mont., he stayed on for several years as a Bible instructor and continued teaching throughout his life. He loved God’s Word.
He completed a Master’s degree and most of his doctorate program in guidance and counseling at Montana State University in Missoula, Mont. before accepting a position as counselor at Hardin High School in 1983.
He retired from that career only to begin another with the Big Horn County News, where he eventually served as publisher. Hardin Chevy was his last field of endeavor, and he only recently stepped down from his position as assistant service manager, due to his failing health.
Wes was curious, studious, generous, hard-working and playful. For years he carried a football, baseball, bat and mitts along with a frisbee or two in his car – always at ready for a fun game with the kids. He taught, not only his son, but also his daughters to throw a football as well, or better than most of the boys they knew. They benefitted from having an All-American quarterback for a dad. He loved to play.
But there was one thing that defined him above all the hard work and accomplishments, careers and achievements. He served Jesus and people, whenever and wherever he could. It was just what he did, no accolades, no fanfare, only a strong work ethic that simply said, “Let’s get it done, let’s make it work.” He loved the Lord.
He is survived by his wife, Barb, and his daughters, Brietta (Britt) of Billings and Kathryn (Katt) (John) and grandson Jaxon Kurt of Manhattan, N.Y.; his brothers Dennis Eben (Deborah) of Castle Rock, Colo. and Hermann (Louise) Eben of Midland, Tex.; his sister Genice (Kenneth) Armstrong of Emporia, Kan. and a bevy of terrific nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved son, Kurt and his niece Alicia Free.
A viewing will be held from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Hope Church 5554 Grand Ave. in Billings, with services following at 11 o’clock. After lunch and a reception, a graveside service with military honors will take place at 3 p.m. in Hardin Fairview Cemetery.
The family is deeply grateful to the staff at Big Horn County Hospital and Swing Bed Unit for their consistently patient and compassionate care over the past two months. With the support of incredible friends and the kindness of his co-workers at Hardin Chevy this journey was made considerably less heavy and far more hopeful.