Allen Wanner, 90, Mandan, died March 15, 2021.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at Faith Lutheran Church, Bismarck. Burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
The livestream of the service will be available on our public Facebook page (facebook.com/faithlutheranbismarck), and will also be available afterward on our website: faithbismarck.com/growing-in-faith under the "Worship with FLC" video channel.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan.
Allen Christ Wanner was born in a home south of Steele, ND on July 27th, 1930, the twelfth of fourteen children to Christian and Barbara (Sprenger) Wanner. Over the years as the family grew, they lived south of Steele, north of Driscoll, and northeast of Crystal Springs. I (Mark) remember him saying that doing chores in and outside of the house started at a very young age. In grade school, he and his siblings would get a piece of sausage and a slice of bread in a bag to take for lunch. Allen told me he remembered many holidays where his mother cooked all night preparing for the holiday. As he got older, Allen and his older brother, Art, became close, many times they would get sent out to the pasture to check cattle and tend to duties set down by their father. They would usually take a metal cup with them, which they used to milk a cow for something to drink at lunch. Pieces of wheat, barley, or breaking open a stem of stock and eating the inside was common for a “lunch type snack”. Maybe even a few chokecherries when the season was right. All of the Wanner children were handy with many things. Allen’s father, Christian Wanner, loved his kids and worked with the boys a lot and taught them many things that they used to their advantage in later years. Christian was a blacksmith by trade. As Allen reached his teenage years, he and three of his brothers, Christ, Art, and Ervin (never rode his) had Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Later there had come a time when the military government had come out to the farm and demanded four boys of the family go into the service. Allen was in the Korean War in 1952 & 1953. He found out while he was in the service, his mother had sold his motorcycle for $10. After he came home from the service, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. Laboring and driving truck for the ND Highway Dept. and somewhere along the line someone had talked him into attending the Mohler Barber College in Fargo to be a Barber. He had become a waiter in a restaurant while going to Barber College and depended on his wages and tips to pay for it. He did his apprenticeship in Jamestown, ND. As Allen worked, he would cash his checks at the bank in Steele, ND which is where he met Leone Renschler. Leone would work at the bank during the week while staying with an older couple in Steele, then go back to the farm on the weekends. They married in 1956 and moved to Mandan and lived in an upstairs apartment in a house. That same year Allen started working for Deluxe Barber Shop in Mandan and he later purchased the business. Leone started working for Cloverdale foods in the office. In 1957 they had a daughter, Joany Marie, and she passed away within a week of birth. In 1960 they had a son, Mark Allen. In 1962 they built a new brick house in Mandan with 2 fireplaces, a beautiful yard, and space for a garden. Leone continued to work for Cloverdale for 39 years. Allen had his routine for many years. Monday was barber’s day off and he would take his son with to pay bills and run errands, Monday night was dinner at the Elks Lodge. Tuesday could have been a stag at the Legion or cutting a shut-in’s hair. Wednesday night he was at choir practice at Faith Lutheran Church in Bismarck. Thursday night Allen would cut hair at the Heartview Foundation when it was in Mandan. Friday he would either fix something at home, cut a shut-in’s hair, or go to someone’s house and fix a clock. After working Saturday, he would go to the laundromat that one of his friends owned and wash his barber towels. We would get up early Sunday and Mark would go to Sunday school with Allen and Leone going to church and Allen was in the choir. Then we would drive out to one or two of various farms and visit with relatives for the day. It was quite the routine. In the late 60’s Allen sponsored a car in the Mandan Demolition Derby, I can remember him working on it in the driveway at home. He was in a bowling league at Ten Spot Lanes in Mandan for a few years and was a longtime member of the Elks, Eagles, and Legion Clubs. There was also a stretch of years where Allen and 3 or 4 other men would get together and sing at nursing homes, banquets, and various occasions for a source of entertainment. Allen loved working on stationary engines and fixing clocks of all kinds. Mark having played in bands for 29 years, would many times drop off cymbal stands to be re-riveted or other things to be fixed. Allen would say “I don’t know when I’ll get to it”, but he would call be back in a matter of hours and say, “your stuff is fixed”. He also made drum sticks for Mark on the turning lathe in the basement, I think he stopped at around 30 pairs as it was just too time consuming. Mark would play almost every day by that time. Allen could and would fix anything, replacing was always a last resort. The house was always clean, the yard was well groomed, vehicles were clean, and Leone was a great cook. We were always busy and that was just a normal routine. This was our life. Allen was honored and really enjoyed going on the Honor Flight to Washington, DC and had Mark there to share it with. In 1987 they gained a daughter-in-law, Valarie; in 1988 a granddaughter, Serena and in 1998 a grandson, Damon. Allen enjoyed the get-togethers for holidays, birthdays, and whatever else came up to see his family. Being a barber was of utmost importance to him. As he enjoyed all the people that came to see him for a haircut and sometimes just to visit and as far away as Montana. Talk of retirement was not an option.
Allen is survived by one son, Mark (Valarie) Wanner; one granddaughter, Serena (Scott) McCabe, great granddaughter, Mila; one grandson, Damon Wanner (girlfriend, Zoya), great granddaughter, Emma; one brother, Art (Vonnie) Wanner, Fort Worth, TX; and one sister-in-law, Ramona Wanner, Bismarck.
Allen was preceded in death by his wife, Leone, in 2012; infant daughter, Joany Marie; brothers, August (Ella), Christ (Mary), Albert (Ida), Edward (Lillie), Ervin, Vernon, Harold, and Henry; and sisters, Tillena (Paul), Lillian (Elmer), Frieda, and Pauline.
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