Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 14, 2014

John Leonard Wendels

EMPIRE — John Leonard Wendels, 87, of Empire, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his children on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. John was born on March 5, 1927, in Fond Du Lac, Wis., the son of John Joseph and Emma (Eckert) Wendels.

John was a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force, retiring after 22 years.

He was a Korean War veteran, lifetime member of the NRA and loved to garden and hunt.

After his retirement John worked for 19 years as a custodian and did maintenance work at Glen Lake School.

John was married for 47 years to his beautiful bride, Madelyn Ann Keenan, before she passed away in 2001.

John loved spending time with his family and will be deeply missed by all those who survive him; his children, Judith (Charles) Ohlfs, James (Dena Smith) Wendels, Donna (Kevin) Cierpial, David (Anna) Wendels, Daniel (Joann) Wendels, Donald Wendels, John Wendels and Robert “Michael” (Laura) Wendels; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; niece, Nikki (Dave) Langolf; nephews, Rick and Jake Bosin; brother-in-law, Jerome Keenan; and sisters-in-law, Rosemary Fortunato, Elaine (Ray) Bauer and Patricia Hornes.

Preceding John in death were his parents; wife, Madelyn Wendels; sisters, Bernice Beckett, Joy Eckert and Vera Bosin; brother, Robert Wendels; and brothers-in-law, Joe Fortunato, Robert Hornes, James “Junior” (Kay) Keenan, Robert (Shirley) Keenan and Donald Keenan.

A graveside celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at 11 a.m., at St. Philip Neri Catholic Cemetery in Empire.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Glen Lake Fire Department or Munson Hospice.

Please share your fond memories of John at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home in Traverse City.

Text Only

Death Notices

Deaths in the Region
Archived Obituaries