Wesley Arthur Hovde, “Foxhunter”, to those who KNEW him, 78, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away late Saturday afternoon, October 30, 2021 at the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay.
He was born March 25, 1943 in Bowbells, ND, the son of Arthur Olai Hovde and Erma Airielle (Sigman) Hovde. Wes’ family moved to Minnesota in 1957 to own and operate a family dairy farm. He graduated from Browerville High School in 1961 and ventured off to Toledo, OH where he enrolled in classes to become a meat cutter. After graduation Wes was directed to Baileys Harbor, WI to work (as a meat cutter) for Elton Voeks. Life and family took Wes to other parts of the state, but in his heart, he loved Door County. He worked for each of the Sturgeon Bay, WI shipyards over the years (Christy Corporation/Bay Shipbuilding, Peterson Builders, and Palmer Johnson Yachts) and cut meat in the off seasons. Many of Wes’ fellow shipyard workers were given nicknames by their fellow workers, and he eventually became known as “Foxhunter” or “Fox” because of his love for fox hunting; he would call-in ‘sick’ the morning after a fresh snowfall, but everyone knew he was chasing foxes.
Wes was united in marriage to Patricia Jo Harkins on March 26, 1984 in Sturgeon Bay. They welcomed Wes’ grandson, Tyler Paschke, to come and live them a few years later, and cherished the years he spent with them. Wes continued working in the shipyards until the early 1990’s when his arthritis prevented him from working. He was respected as an honest, hard worker.
Wes had a deep admiration for his friends. Outside of his work family, he enjoyed socializing with friends at (the former) Van’s Bar downtown Sturgeon Bay. Wes loved to laugh and was a great person to be around and spend time with. He enjoyed shooting trap in league, just outside of Sturgeon Bay. Wes supported Patti in her ministry and musical efforts at St. Joseph Parish in Sturgeon Bay, Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Institute, and Corpus Christi Parish in Sturgeon Bay. For many years he was the sole roadie for Patti’s karaoke show and loved to sing. Wes was especially known for his rendition of, “She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy.” Wherever they went together, you could always count on someone recognizing Wes, even outside of Door County. He loved being a Doodle Dad to his faithful dog, Grace. Wes liked spending time outdoors and working in his vegetable garden and canning (especially salsa and spaghetti sauce). He looked after his mother, Erma, even while she was living in Minnesota, and then cared for her with Patti, when (Erma) moved to Sturgeon Bay in 2011. When Wes and Erma were preparing a meal together in the kitchen, they would get so into dicing tomatoes (among other foods), that they would have to be reminded to stop or slow down since it was usually just themselves and Patti that they would be cooking for.
He will be greatly missed by his wife, Patti with whom he shared over 37 years of marriage; grandson, Tyler Paschke of Sturgeon Bay; aunt, Marlene Dean of Anchorage, AK; siblings-in-law, Joe (Lynne) Harkins, Marilyn Fuller, both of Green Bay, Debbie (Roo) Marolia of Hartland, WI, Jeff (Kim) Harkins of Omro, WI; many nieces and nephews; goddaughter, Brittani Danek Clark; other relatives; special friends, Tim (Annie) Leo, Chuck Weber, and Celeste Lulkowski-Danek and her family; incredible neighbors, and many other good friends from over the years.
Wes was preceded in death by his mother, Erma (Edward Dvorak; Clarence Veith) Veith; father, Arthur Hovde; daughter and son, Bridget Dickelman and Scott (Vista “Lanett” Kinard) Hovde; sister, Annette (Bill) Zelinski; stepsister, Holly Stovall; and other loved relatives.
His life will be honored with a memorial service held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, November 5, 2021 at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 with Sister Elise Cholewinski OFM and Deacon Ray Ambrosius officiating. Wes will be laid to rest in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Institute.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at Huehns Funeral Home on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.
Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Wes may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.