OBITUARY: Harland Earl Unruh

Harland Earl Unruh was born Nov. 12, 1935, at Bethesda Hospital, Goessel, to Henry G. and Sarah (Enns) Unruh.

He grew up on a farm northwest of Goessel, the middle child of five. He graduated from Goessel High School with the class of 1954. Following high school, after a short stint as a carpenter’s assistant, he went into 1-W service at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka on the grounds crew, mowing lawns and removing snow, among other things.

While he was helping Martin Wedel plaster cracks in the walls at Bethesda Hospital, he met his future wife, Oneta Wenger, and they were married during his vacation following his first year of 1-W service, on April 9, 1960, at his home church, Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church, north of Goessel. To this union were born three children, Teresa, Earl and Duane.

Following his 1-W service, Harland and Oneta moved onto the Unruh family farm north of Goessel and tried farming for several years, which were rough years. Harland started working for Hesston Mfg., and they moved to Newton at that time. Harland worked for Hesston Mfg., Hesston Corp., Hay & Forage Ind., and AGCO, (all the same company under different names) for more than 37 years before retiring and becoming a tour guide at AGCO for another 20 years. During that time, they also owned and operated Harland’s Auction Service for over 35 years, belonging to both the Kansas and National Auctioneers Associations, where they made many good friends over the years. Still a farmer at heart, nothing gave him more joy than working in his yard and garden, always raising a lot of watermelon – the majority of which he gave away. He also made many wooden toys, most of which he gave away, as well.

Harland is survived by his wife, Oneta (Wenger) Unruh; daughter, Teresa (Roger) Strain; sons, Earl (Deborah) Unruh and Duane (Kelley) Unruh; grandchildren, Melissa Unruh, Nathaniel (Nani Dizol) Unruh, Shawn (Christina Pease) Smith, Heather Lozen (partner, Brieana Mills), Sarah (Josh) Zapata, Jared (Sophia Riada) Strain, Caleb Strain, Braden Strain and Lindsey Unruh and four great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date.

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