Alan A. “Allie” Waechter

Alan A. “Allie” Waechter, age 76 of Batesville, Indiana, passed away, Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Margaret Mary Health in Batesville.  Born June 14, 1947, in Batesville, he is the son of Genevieve (Langferman) and Irvin J. Waechter.  He married Sue Siefert on August 3, 1985, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Oldenburg, Indiana.  Allie was a member of St. Louis and Holy Family Catholic Churches and was a Truck Driver for the Hill-Rom Company for over 30 years, before retiring.

My father only became more remarkable to me the longer I knew him. Here are two percent of his stories:

– He drove a semi-truck all night in an inch of sleet ice through the mountains of Colorado. He said it was fun.

– He survived a man stalking him through the streets of Abu Dhabi until he remembered to hide in an abandoned mall walked through the week before. He also survived being awoken by a Native American teenager near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation following the unrest around the Peltier case, who slashed his tire after trying to jam a knife in his window. He escaped from this man, who was driving a truck accompanied by two other men – one holding a shotgun – by driving with no headlights and turning off onto a sideroad he’d remembered from the driving in the day before.

– He had a false cancer scare a number of years before the final diagnosis that took him. When I asked him the night before why he seemed so calm, he said, “It’s no different than changing my shirt”.

– He lived for two years in the Saudi Arabian desert, setting off dynamite while engineers looked at a seismograph, searching for patterns that would indicate the presence of oil under the dunes. Here he was known among his crew for being able to recover any stuck vehicle. He would drive out alone across the waste and winch the truck out. He never left anyone stuck, even when he had to bury his truck to the frame in the sand to winch one out.

None of these, however, are what made him remarkable. At 28, driving over a bridge in Kentucky, he came to the sudden understanding that God exists, is in control, and that he must do His will while here on earth. Thereafter, he lived half in the material world and half in the spiritual world with his three guardian angels and the Holy Spirit, who would guide him. Whether due to this revelation, or to his natural inclinations, he possessed an inextinguishable joy, optimism, and altruism:

– He picked up over 50 hitchhikers, to whom he would give $5 and a McDonald’s breakfast. He helped hundreds with flat tires. The Criterion recently featured a story of him saving three children from likely freezing to death in Iowa.

– Every day that I talked to him, no matter what, he would say a prayer with me which included the phrase, ‘This is the day that Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! ‘. We said this as he was in the final battles with cancer, before and after his kidney was removed, when I wrecked the car. And always, he said it like he meant it, and was glad for the opportunity to do so.

– He lost the farm he ran, which he bought from his father at 26, due to economic conditions that caused a loan to dramatically increase in interest rates until he could no longer keep up. Farming was his calling, and I could hear it in his voice walking the farm shows describing the tractors he owned and what they could do. His farm sat all around the house where his parents lived, and this loss cut deep into the two things that mattered most to him is the world: family and farming. Whatever joy and optimism he had as I grew up was tested in fire.

– He loved people and was never happier than when making others happy. His life was filled with hundreds of what he would call ‘angel moments’, where something would work out just right: the right call would come in at the right time, the right person would just show up. It was as though he and the Lord were always working together to make something good happen for someone. He loved to pray with people, and one of his deepest desires in his later years was to be efficacious in his prayers: to heal what was sick, to guide what was lost, to fix what was broken.

– His favorite flower was sunflowers, these giant bright smiles of plants, and that’s what he was to me: the sun, the light, the smile, the joy. He was mine and so many peoples’ cheerleader through their darkest or most uncertain times. When he wasn’t dedicating his time and talent, he was spreading compliments and attaboys around like he was sowing alfalfa with a hand crank on his farm in the springtime, hoping to grow something wonderful.

I asked his advice, the night before he died, on how to live a good life. He said to always forgive; to not drink the poisons of the past and future, which are regret and fear; and to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day at 3PM to cleanse your soul.

It may be hard to match up to him, but he gave us the instructions if we’d like to try. And no matter the outcome, I know he’ll be rooting for us every step of the way.

He is survived by his wife Sue of Batesville; sons Matt Waechter of Indianapolis, Indiana and Zach (Sarah) Waechter of Frankfort, Indiana; grandchildren Sawyer and Sullivan Waechter; sisters Rose (David) Meyer and Marian (Joe) Smith, both of Batesville and Linda Waechter of Cincinnati, Ohio; brothers Jim (Debbie) Waechter of Portland, Indiana, John (Linda) Waechter of Batesville and Mark Waechter of Westport, Indiana; sister-in-law Susan Waechter of Oldenburg.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Thomas Waechter.

Visitation is Friday, January 19th, from 4 – 7 p.m., at Weigel Funeral Home in Batesville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, January 20th, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Batesville, with Fr. Stan Pondo officiating.  The burial will follow at Holy Family Cemetery in Oldenburg.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Edelweiss House, 592 North County Road 650 East, Greensburg, Indiana 47240.  For online condolences go to