Eldon C. Wenger, age 89, of Fredericktown, died peacefully, on Sunday afternoon, March 10, 2013, at Riverside Hospital following several months of illness.
On December 28, 1923, Eldon was born in Marion, Ohio, the second of eight children of the late William and Mary Elizabeth (Shantz) Wenger. He was raised in Logan County, where he graduated from Monroe High School in the Class of 1943.
During World War II, Eldon gave of his time to the Civilian Public Services in Luray, Virginia, working on a dairy farm and helping clear trees from the Appalachian Trail.
Upon the completion of his service, Eldon was introduced to a young lady, Alma Lehman, by his brother, Don Wenger, and her cousin, Ferne Lehman. Soon thereafter, they were married on May 15, 1947, in her hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, at the Brethen in Christ Church. They resided there in Carlisle for several years, where he worked as a carpenter with the Lehman family and they started having a family. Together they shared 49 years of marriage and lovingly raised 9 children. She preceded him in death on July 30, 1996, and he missed sharing family stories with her ever since that day.
In 1955, Eldon and Alma moved as family to Morrow County to run the England dairy farm. A hard working man, he milked dairy cattle there and at their farm on SR 314 for over 40 years. After retiring from milking cattle, Eldon then helped his sons and grandchildren in the Wenger Builders carpentry business for 15 years. He loved this time traveling the United States with his family. He was a member of the Morrow County Dairy Association and the State Dairy Association, where he formerly held offices.
Beginning in farming using draft horses, Eldon carried his love of draft horses throughout his life. He tended to and trained many draft horses over the years, using some in local parades. He was a past member of the Morrow County Draft Horse Association.
Able to put together and fix just about anything, Eldon loved finding a good deal on an old antique tractor, buying it, then restoring it to make it as good as new. He especially loved giving rides to his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren in a wagon pulled with his antique tractors. He was a member of the Morrow County Antique Tractor Association.
Most important of all to Eldon was his family. For the past 16 years after Alma's passing, he always scheduled special holiday events, because he loved to be surrounded by the 100 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren in his immediate family.
Eldon will be dearly missed by his eight beloved children: Karen (Gary) Pfile of Freeport, IL, Keith Wenger of Bellville, Leslie (Patsy) Wenger of Galion, Alan (Thresa) Wenger of Bellville, Beth (Dean) Jagger, Dotty (Mike) Goff, both of Mount Gilead, Luann (John) Watts of Edison, and Dale (Wendy) Wenger of Bellville; a daughter-in-law, Marcia Wenger of Fredericktown; 26 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren with three more on the way; three sisters: Hazel Lehman of Lancaster County, PA, Libby (Kenny) Carpenter of Bellefontaine, and Ruth (Joe) Stickrod of Ennis, MT; three sisters-in-law: Ferne Wenger of Mount Vernon, Donna Wenger of West Liberty, and Shirley Wenger of Bellefontaine; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including his wife and parents, Eldon was preceded in death by his son, Bill Wenger; an infant daughter, Phyllis Wenger; four brothers: Don, Kenny, Bill and Marion Wenger; and his daughter-in-law, Linda Wenger.
The Wenger family will greet friends from 4 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, 2013, at the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. Services celebrating his life will also be held there on Friday at 11:00 a.m., with his niece-in-law, Rev. Tami Wenger officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Memorial Park in Lexington.
Memorial contributions may be made to Gideon's International and they may be sent to the care of the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve Eldon's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Morrow County Sentinel on Mar. 13, 2013