Carl August Wibbelman died November 24, 2021, at his home in Sedro-Woolley at age 81. He was born June 13, 1940 in Woodinville, Washington to parents, Albert Wibbelman Sr. and Myrtle (Kronquist) Wibbelman. After graduating from Edmonds High School in 1959, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves. He lost his parents at an early age and helped care for his siblings; these experiences helped solidify his views on the value of hard work and responsibility to family.
After completing his military service in 1963, he returned to Western Washington and worked as a mechanic for the JC Penney company for several years in their automotive repair division and eventually served as manager.
Carl married Helen (Pennick) Wibbelman on July 10, 1964, in Lake Serene. They lived in Alderwood before settling in Clear Lake in 1970 where they raised their four children: Jim, Jeanne, Juleen and Joni. Together Carl and Helen owned and operated Mt. Vernon Frame & Axle from 1969 until Helen’s death in 2002. The business was a true family affair with all of the kids involved in various ways and learning life skills and how to work hard—whether they wanted to or not. Carl continued as the owner and operator of the business until June, 2021.
Along with raising their children and operating the family business, Carl and Helen purchased a small one bedroom cabin on the edge of Lake Curlew in Eastern Washington which was eventually expanded into a much larger log home. The “cabin” was one of Carl’s greatest joys in life and the source of many excellent memories for family and friends. As they grew, his children brought their families and friends and the cabin hosted countless summer trips and family reunions. In recent years, he spent much of his time on the deck overlooking the lake, tolerating the ruckus of children and grandchildren, boating and fishing on the water below, often enjoying a well-timed nap in the sun. The chaos of family and friends gathered around the big dining room table for a meal, or for an often rowdy game of cards or a board game, was always cause for a smile. The best days ended with him reading a good book in his favorite recliner after dinner.
Carl was fortunate to meet Clara; his partner who drove him to the cabin “safely,” spending time reading, sharing stories, eating meals, going for long drives, and attending local events. Nothing pleased Carl more than to know the cabin was being enjoyed by others. Thanks to his wise planning, the cabin will continue to be a much loved family treasure for his children, grandchildren, friends, and generations beyond.
Carl was passionate about cars his entire life and held Studebakers in the highest regard. He owned countless Studebaker cars and trucks along with hundreds of accompanying parts, catalogs, magazines and other memorabilia. He could amaze anyone willing to listen with his expansive knowledge of all things Studebaker. As a 45-year member of the Studebaker Driver’s Club, he attended many of their events across the country, sometimes driving one of his own Studebakers to the meets. Carl and Clara often took meandering road trips to attend car shows, auctions and swap meets, always opting for the back roads, and included many stops at local diners, farmer’s markets, and small town thrift stores to buy another lawnmower or at museums to enjoy local history.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, and his brothers, Albert Wibbelman Jr., Lloyd Wibbelman and Bernard Wibbelman. Carl is survived by his younger sisters, Marie Costello and Jeanne (Dan) Mooers. He is also survived by his children and son-in-laws, son, Jim Wibbelman; daughters, Jeanne Andersen, Juleen and Scott (amazingly supportive son-in-law) Perusek, and Joni and Tony Brown; his seven grandchildren, always a source of great pride and hope for the future, Karlin and Soren Andersen, Ben and Michael Perusek, Aaron, Kayla and Mason Brown. In addition, Carl leaves behind his loving partner Clara Simek.
A Memorial will be held on Thursday, December 30 at 3 p.m. at the Community Covenant Church, 12605 Hwy 9, Clear Lake. Following the Memorial Service, the family will be hosting a time of fellowship to share food and fond memories about Carl. Carl will be buried next to his wife, Helen, at the Clear Lake Cemetery with the remaining ashes will be spread at Lake Curlew.
In memory of Carl and Helen’s many visits and long-time connection to the area, the family is donating a parcel of land to Ferry County as part of a community park currently under construction. Memorial donations in their names to support the park’s development can be made to Ferry County and mailed to PO Box 520, Sedro Woolley, WA 98284 or given to Juleen Perusek. Donations also may be made to the Friendship House in Mt. Vernon which Carl supported in many ways over the years at skagitfriendshiphouse.org/donate-money. Share your memories of Carl and sign the online guest register.