William Arthur Wendt, 80, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at his home in Oakdale.
A memorial service was at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury. Memorials are preferred to the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin for wells in Malawi and to the memorial fund at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury.
William Wendt was born to William E. Wendt and Dolores M. Johnson in Luverne. Bill attended the University of Minnesota and transferred to South Dakota State University before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1962. Following basic training and service in Iceland, he was selected for the Naval Cadet program for aviation. He graduated with a degree in language arts in 1971 from the University of West Florida.
He met Marilyn Swan while stationed in San Diego. They were married in 1967.
During his naval career, Wendt served as a helicopter pilot earning his Navy wings in 1965. He retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of lieutenant commander, having merited the Air Medal with One Star, the Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Five Stars, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. Following his Vietnam service, he served as a flight instructor and retired in 1983 ending his naval service as the chief flight operations and commander of DCASPRO Hayes in Dothan, Alabama.
Bill earned his Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1987 and his Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2002. He served his internship year from 1985-1986, at Luther Valley Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wisconsin. Bill was ordained in 1987. He served ELCA congregations in Boyceville and Wheeler, Wisconsin, (Trinity and Our Savior’s Lutheran churches) and Mondovi, Wisconsin, (Drammen and Pleasant Valley Lutheran churches). He also served as needed as a Hospice chaplain. He retired from ministry in 2014.
Bill is remembered as a kind servant leader and excellent listener. He was devoted to his faith, his country, and his family.
Bill is survived by his wife, Marilyn, of Balaton; two daughters, Jennifer (Todd) Muellner and Sarah Ashouri, both of Woodbury; grandchild Asal Ashouri of Woodbury; stepgrandchildren Todd Hickethier of Woodbury and Mathew Muellner of White Bear Lake; and two sisters and a brother.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister-in-law, and a son-in-law.
Arrangements were provided by Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Service of Stillwater www.bradshawfuneral.com.