Kenneth Wendt

Kenneth A. Wendt, 91, Chandler, Arizona,  died Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

A family memorial service was May 25 at the Village of Ocotillo Assisted Living in Chandler. Inurnment will be at a later date in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Kenneth Wendt was born Aug. 3, 1926, to William J. and Bertha K. (Wallace) Wendt in Luverne. Upon graduation from Luverne High School, he joined the Army Air Force, serving from January 1945 to September 1946. He was assigned to the 1503rd Army Air Force and was trained in maintenance and repair of B-29 bombers. He served as a flight traffic clerk and steward on C-47 and C-54 air transport aircraft bringing troops home from the Philippines. Following honorable discharge, he attended South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota.

He married Bonnie Jorde of Mandan, North Dakota, in 1950. They lived in Fairmont, where Ken built the family home. He worked in sales and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals for the animal health industry in the family business, Northern States Laboratories. He later became co-owner with his brothers William and Robert. After they sold the business, Ken and his family moved to Fremont, Nebraska, where Ken and his brother started another veterinary pharmaceutical business. At age 58, he returned to college at Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, where he received an associate’s degree in machining. After graduation, Ken and Bonnie moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where he worked for a short time in a mobile home manufacturing factory.

Ken excelled at woodworking projects. He and his friends built five matching pop-up campers. He enjoyed playing golf, bridge and pinochle. Ken loved dogs and enjoyed the constant companionship of pets. In his younger years, Ken sang in a barbershop choir, and he enjoyed ballroom dancing.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, a Master Mason, and 32nd degree Scottish Rite, affiliated with the Ben Franklin Lodge in Luverne.

Following the death of Bonnie in 1996, he married Elizabeth Schwinden in 2000. They lived in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and then Chandler.

Ken is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Schwinden; a brother, Robert (Jean) Wendt; four children, Kathy (Don) Siebe, Barbara Bergsten, Paul (Sandy) Wendt, and Cheryl Heinzman; six grandchildren, Craig and David Siebe, Lacy Bergsten (Zack) Best, Jeffrey (Aimee) Bergsten, and Kristen and Eric Heinzman; and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Bonnie Wendt; his parents; a brother, William Wendt Jr.; two sisters, Caroline Binford and Phyllis Helgeson; and a son-in-law, Rodney Bergsten.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to a no-kill animal shelter, veterans group, Shriners Hospital, or a charity of choice.

Arrangements were provided by Horizon Funeral Home of Mesa, Arizona, www.horizonfuneralcare.com

(0628 F)

 

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