July 17, 2015 1:00 PMOlivet Lutheran Church, Fargo
July 16, 2015
- 7:00 PM
July 16, 2015
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Howard W. Wrigley died unexpectedly of a heart attack Saturday July 11, at his remote fly-in fishing lodge in the far-reaches of Northern Saskatchewan. We are stunned by his loss, but lifted by the robust and colorful spirit of an extraordinary man. Howard Wrigley lived boldly.
Howard, son of Harry and Vada Wrigley, was born in Noonan, ND and raised on the family’s homestead in Burke County, ND, northeast of Columbus, ND. He attended a one room school house, graduating from Columbus High School (Howard’s very own “charm school”), in 1953. That fall, Howard enrolled at the University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks. He studied engineering for one year, then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving proudly. In 1954, Howard was honorably discharged and returned to Grand Forks. Howard and Gloria were married on November 23, 1956. Howard earned his Mechanical Engineering degree in the spring of 1961. Years later, in 2012, Howard was selected for entry into the Hall of Fame for the UND School of Engineering and Mines.
Following graduation from UND, Howard and Gloria moved to Bismarck, ND, where Howard began to learn the contracting business from his then-employer and mentor, Harry Thompson. Howard and Gloria made so many life-long friends during those years. Their first child, Blake was born in 1962, son Drew was born in 1965, and daughter Tanya in 1969.
In 1970, Howard and Gloria moved their young family to Fargo. Howard worked for a plumbing contractor, then became an owner-manager with a local mechanical contracting company, Peterson Mechanical. In 1978, Howard founded Wrigley Mechanical Inc., a mechanical, environmental, industrial contracting company. He served as President from 1978 to 2002, when he proudly designated his son, Blake, as President. Howard continued to serve as the CEO of the company until his death.
Howard worked tirelessly with El Zagal Shrine, and was recognized with 40 years of service this past Spring. He was Potentate of the El Zagal Temple in 1985 and President of the Midwest Shrine Association in 1992. He and Gloria worked together on Shrine projects and on Shrine fun. So many lifelong friends, great trips around the country and happy memories that will never fade.
Howard also gave time generously to the Boy Scouts. He enjoyed his many years as Scout Master of Troop 229, guiding both Blake and Drew through their Scouting years to the rank of Eagle Scout. One of his grandsons has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and two more are working their way toward that rank.
Howard and Gloria have been blessed with the laughter and shenanigans of six grandchildren, each of whom is their favorite, each of whom they spoil, and each of whom they love deeply and unconditionally: Max (17), Jack (14), and Gracie (14) Lingle (Fargo), and Quinn (14), Patrick (12), and Harper (7) Wrigley (Bismarck). Lake gatherings, family trips, holiday and birthday celebrations, and special moments continue to fill the years. Grandpa Howard will still be with us each and every time.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Vada Wrigley, and by brothers Dwight, Edward and Joseph. At the time of his death Howard remained the guiding force and patriarch of the family. He is survived by his wife and co-conspirator of 58 years, Gloria, his sons Blake (Cathie), Fargo, Drew (Kathleen), Bismarck and his daughter Tanya and (Keith Lingle), Fargo, as well as six grandchildren and seven step-grandchildren.
Memorials can be directed to Boy Scout Troop 225 (Fargo), Boy Scout Troop 73 (Bismarck), Olivet Lutheran Church and Twin City Shrine Hospital.