WPCA Saddened By The Passing Of Former Chuckwagon Driver Fred Weisenburger
March 19, 1919 - September 4, 2016
The World Professional Chuckwagon Association was saddened by passing of former chuckwagon driver Fred Weisenburger on Sunday, September 4th, 2016 from natural causes at the age of 97 years.
In 1923, at the tender age of four, Fred experienced the true covered-wagon experience. Full of pioneer spirit, the Weisenburger family moved from Youngstown to the Curlew district, 15 miles west of Trochu. A trip taking ten days with Fred on horseback the whole way, helping to herd the animals. They made up their own wagon train with wagons loaded to overflowing, transporting all their worldly possessions plus their cows, horses and farming machinery to a new home and a new life. In 1924 they moved to the Huxley area and again in 1937 west of Delburne.
Fred began racing chuckwagons around Delburne where he farmed in the late 1930s, and in 1942 Fred left this farm home to join the Canadian Army. After special training he served as a War Gas Instructor. About a week before the 1942 Calgary Stampede, the subject of the Stampede came up in conversation, and Fred had mentioned to his Commanding Officer that he had a chuckwagon. One of Fred's army buddies got the idea of putting a chuckwagon with a tarp sponsored by A-16 Currie Barracks in the parade through Calgary. His Commanding Officer gave Fred a 48-hour pass, but also said, "Come back when you can.”
So Fred and the A-16 Currie Barracks Outfit competed at the 1942 Calgary Stampede and placed 11th overall. He returned in 1943 and had his best single run up to that point when he split 9th and 10th in the third round with three-time Calgary Champion Jim Ross. After the 1943 Calgary Stampede Fred was off to England, where he remained stationed until 1946. Bronchitis picked up during river crossing training in Canada kept him out of the shooting war. Fred gained the status of Sergeant before his discharge, and raced for a while after leaving the army and setting up a farm near Huxley with his wife.
Fred was a man of many talents, gained through necessity and from experience: Farmer, Soldier, Chuck Wagon Driver, Boxer, Baseball Player and Coach, Harness Maker, Curler and most importantly, loving husband and father. Mentor & friend to many, Fred was always a cowboy at heart.
Those left to mourn Fred's passing: Ruth, his loving wife of 28 years: His only son Earle (Sue), grandchild Kirsten, great grandchildren Imogen & Finnegan Prince; Grandchild Daniel, great grandchildren Tal &Angus Weisenburger, & Dallas Rude. Grandchild Sarah (Sean) McLaughlin, great grandchild Tove. Grandchild Jenna (Jeff) Phillips, great grandchild Jackson, & Grandchild Elizabeth.
Fred's Step Children & families: Douglas (Mary Anne) Richardson, grandchild Nathan Richardson, grandchild Valerie Richardson, great grandchildren Keenan & Shayla; Grandchild Derrick Richardson, great grandchildren Blaine & Jacen.
Deb (Frank) VanderKley, grandchild Chad Williams & great grandchild Cheyenne; grandchild Dax (Laura) Williams, great grandchildren Lennox & Ava; Joanne (Ted) Currie, grandchildren, Jodi & Kevin Currie.
Kirk (Kim) Richardson, grandchildren Lindsay, Kayla & Keisha. Plus a wide circle of extended family members.
Fred was predeceased by his Father and Mother, all of his siblings, baby brother Andrew and Hazel his first wife.
A Memorial Service for Fred Weisenburger will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Elnora Community Hall - 407 2nd Ave in Elnora, Alberta. Memorial donations may be made to the CNIB (Red Deer) or S.T.A.R.S.
Fred will be missed by all in the WPCA, and we extend our sincere condolences to the Weisenburger family.