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Clyde and Victoria Wimer with their son, c. 1934.

Photo courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives.

Wimer, Clyde Eugene (1904–1996) and Victoria Alice Sophia (Westerlund) (1905–1996)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

First Published: January 25, 2024

Clyde Wimer served as an administrator of the colporteur work in Canada, a missionary with his wife, Victoria, in China, and a church administrator in the homeland territories of Washington State, Oklahoma, and Oregon. His final years of service were spent nurturing churches in Oregon.

Heritage

Clyde Wimer was born on October 30, 1904, in Elwood, Indiana.1 His parents were Fred and Florence “Fannie” Freeland (Smith) Wimer. Fred was of Irish descent and a bricklayer by trade. Fanny came from a German heritage. Fred and Fanny had a large family of 11 children: Jessie (b. 1896), Lydia (b. 1900), John (b. 1903), Clyde (b. 1904), Gaylord (b. 1907), Laura (b. 1910), Florence (b. 1912), Fred (b. 1914), Dorothy (b. 1916) and twins Louise and Kenneth (b. 1920).2 In 1911, the family moved from Indiana to Canora, Saskatchewan, Canada. It was there, in 1915, that Fred and Fannie were converted from Methodism to the Seventh-day Adventist faith. Clyde was baptized in Canora, in 1924, by Elder John Walker.3 He had some limited experience with farming and bricklaying.4

Denominational Service

As part of such a large family, the children could not expect tuition assistance from their parents. Those who wanted an education had to work hard for it. Clyde canvassed books during the summers of 1925 through 1928, earning scholarships and gaining a reputation as an excellent salesman.5 On March 29, 1929,6 he married Victoria Alice Sophia Westerlund, a music teacher of Swedish heritage.7

In 1929, Clyde was appointed as the field secretary for the Manitoba and Western Ontario Conference, supervising and encouraging other book salespersons. He held the position until 1931, at the same time snatching periods to attend Battleford Academy, Saskatchewan, in order to complete twelve grades of schooling. For the academic year of 1931/1932, he attended the Canadian Junior College at College Heights near Lacombe, Alberta, and served as the field secretary for the Alberta Conference.8

Word of an appointment to mission service in China came to Clyde and Victoria in June 1933.9 The news sparked a cascade of derogatory letters from one church member who was owed money by Clyde’s father. Clyde and a brother had signed a promissory note as guarantors for the father’s loan. The father was unable to repay the loan, so Clyde and his brother were in the process of making monthly payments.10 However, the creditor became anxious that, if Clyde went overseas, he would be out of reach if he fell short with the payments. The creditor had lost faith in the honesty of the Wimer family and demanded full payment prior to Clyde’s departure.11 Church officials made a thorough investigation of Clyde’s honesty and concluded he had made every effort to cover for his father.12 After three months of haggling, the creditor agreed to accept monthly payments from Clyde’s salary, the money channelled from China through General Conference accounts. Clyde and Victoria and their two little children finally reached Shanghai early in December 1933 and travelled on to Hong Kong and language studies.13

Clyde’s role in China was similar to the positions he held in the homeland. He was field missionary secretary of the South China Union Mission, training, supplying, and supervising teams of booksellers. His headquarters were in Hong Kong, but he travelled extensively to monitor his groups of salespersons in the provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong, and Fukien, the island of Hainan, and the colonies of Macao and Hong Kong.14

The Wimers took a furlough in 1940, leaving Hong Kong in July and arriving in Los Angeles in August.15 This was fortuitous because wartime conditions accelerated soon after, and many of their fellow missionaries were caught up in evacuation to the Philippine Islands or Singapore and beyond. The Wimer medical reports revealed all the family needed treatment for intestinal amoebic infestations, a common malady in the tropics.16 Clyde found time to attend the winter term of the Advanced Bible School, Washington, D.C., and to solicit funds for the South China Training School.17

In view of the suspension of an expatriate presence in China due to World War II, church officials voted to grant permanent return status for the Wimer family. This took effect on June 8, 1941.18 Clyde was appointed to be the field missionary secretary for the Upper Columbia Conference with offices in Spokane, Washington State.19 There were, at the time, a team of six or more canvassers working in the territory.20

On June 20, 1942, Clyde was ordained to the gospel ministry during the Upper Columbia Conference camp meeting in College Place, Washington State. Those officiating at the service included the conference president, Elder Lemuel Esteb, and elders Harold Blunden and Walter Read, representatives from the General Conference.21

Clyde continued in the Upper Columbia Conference until 1946, his last two years as publishing secretary.22 He was then assigned to the Oklahoma Conference in a similar role.23 In 1948, he was appointed to the Oregon Conference to assist in the Publishing Department24 where, in 1951, he was given the leadership in the department. He served in this capacity until 1957.25 He then moved from departmental administration to the nurture of local churches in the Oregon Conference, first at Medford,26 followed by Brockton,27 Ocean Lake,28 Gold Beach,29 and finally Portland. He retired in 1964.30

Final Years

Both Clyde and Victoria enjoyed more than three decades in their retirement. They chose the warm, dry climate of San Marcos to the north of San Diego in the extreme south of California. Victoria passed away on March 14, 1995, at the age of 90. Clyde passed away a little more than a year later, May 25, 1996, aged 92.31

Sources

“Clyde Eugene Wimer.” FamilySearch. Accessed October 26, 2023. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KVGZ-LZM.

Collins, D. E. “The Colporteur Work.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, October 7, 1941.

Collins, D. E. “Upper Columbia Colporteur Rally.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, August 26, 1941.

Committee Minutes, June 8, 1941, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1941-06.pdf.

Esteb, L. E. “Camp Meeting Report.” North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 14, 1942.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Wimer, Clyde Eugene. Appointee Files. RG 21, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD (GCA).

Wimer, Clyde Eugene. Secretariat Files, RG 21, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, MD (GCA).

Notes

  1. Clyde Eugene Wimer, Biographical Information, August 26, 1933. Secretariat Files, RG 21, Record 114954, GCA.

  2. “Clyde Eugene Wimer,” FamilySearch, accessed October 26, 2023, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KVGZ-LZM.

  3. “Clyde Eugene Wimer,” Biographical Information.

  4. Clyde Eugene Wimer, Information Questionnaire, [1933], Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  5. “Clyde Eugene Wimer,” Biographical Information.

  6. Clyde Eugene Wimer, Information Questionnaire [1933].

  7. “Clyde Eugene Wimer,” Biographical Information.

  8. Ibid.

  9. Letter, M. E. Kern to C. E. Wimer, June 15, 1933, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  10. Letter, C. E. Wimer to M. E. Kern, September 12, 1933, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  11. Letter, Susie Tesch to M. E. Kern, September 5, 1933, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  12. Letters, A. V. Rhoads to M. E. Kern, September 11, 1933; P. D. Gerrard to M. E. Kern, September 13, 1933, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  13. Letter, W. E. Howell to C. E. Wimer, January 29, 1934, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  14. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1939), 116.

  15. Clyde Eugene Wimer, Information on Returning Missionaries, July 16, 1940, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  16. Letter, Robert Hare to A. W. Cormack, September 10, 1940, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  17. Clyde Eugene Wimer, Information on Returning Missionaries, October 6, 1940, Appointee Files, RG 21, Record 47481, GCA.

  18. Committee Minutes, June 8, 1941, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

  19. D. E. Collins, “Upper Columbia Colporteur Rally,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, August 26, 1941, 2.

  20. D. E. Collins, “The Colporteur Work,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, October 7, 1941, 9.

  21. L. E. Esteb, “Camp Meeting Report,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, July 14, 1942, 4-6.

  22. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1945), 47.

  23. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1947), 68.

  24. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1949), 51.

  25. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1956), 45-46.

  26. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1958), 449.

  27. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1959), 476.

  28. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1960), 494.

  29. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1961), 514.

  30. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1964), 574.

  31. “Clyde Eugene Wimer,” FamilySearch.

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Hook, Milton. "Wimer, Clyde Eugene (1904–1996) and Victoria Alice Sophia (Westerlund) (1905–1996)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 25, 2024. Accessed April 08, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=F8QL.

Hook, Milton. "Wimer, Clyde Eugene (1904–1996) and Victoria Alice Sophia (Westerlund) (1905–1996)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 25, 2024. Date of access April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=F8QL.

Hook, Milton (2024, January 25). Wimer, Clyde Eugene (1904–1996) and Victoria Alice Sophia (Westerlund) (1905–1996). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=F8QL.