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Richard Wedel

RICHARD CLINTON WEDEL, 95 ROCKFORD - Richard Clinton Wedel, 95, died peacefully Thursday, June 7, 2012, in his home of nearly 70 years. He was born March 17, 1917, in Elgin to Richard Henry Wedel and Mattie Mae Williams Wedel. The family moved to Oak Park and then to Rockford where he attended school, graduating from Rockford High School in 1934. After graduation from Beloit College in 1938, he served as superintendent, teacher and bus driver for the Kishwaukee and then the Winnebago school districts. On Sept. 13, 1942, Richard married Marjorie Bernice Scherphorn of Riverside, Calif. They met while both were students at Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston. In 1943, he earned a master of divinity degree and was ordained an elder in the Methodist Church. He served churches in northern Illinois and in the state of Oregon. He taught history at Willamette University, Salem, Ore. In 1952, Richard and Marjorie returned with their children to the family farm northwest of Rockford. As well as tending large gardens and orchards and managing the farm, Richard started teaching in Rockford public schools. He retired from the system in 1976, after teaching history at Roosevelt Junior High, West High, and Guilford High. He also worked as an administrator at Lincoln Junior High School and at Auburn High School. Richard served as a supply pastor in many Methodist and Presbyterian churches in the area during the 1950s and 1960s while farming and teaching. He also earned advanced degrees from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, and from the University of Illinois, Urbana, during that time. He was active in Court Street United Methodist Church, and chaired a wide range of church and civic organizations. He married Iolene Hewitt on April 22, 1999. Together they shared many church, community and family activities and the company of many good friends. A devoted family man, he said his proudest accomplishment was, with Marjorie, raising their four children, Richard (Diane) of Lawrence, Kan., and Bozeman, Mont., Martha (Ed) Caputo, Sue (Al) Hoople and Paul (Elvira Iancu), all of Rockford; grandchildren, Clint (Xan) Wedel of Lawrence, Kan., Aimee Wedel of Annapolis, Md., Mara Caputo (Christian Hirschi) of Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland; Mario Caputo of DeKalb, Christopher Caputo of Al Ayn, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Charis Caputo of Chicago, Nathan Hoople (Susan Soto) of Anchorage, Alaska, Erin Hoople (David Loken) of Minneapolis, Ethan Wedel of Rockford, Zoe Wedel of Santa Cruz, Calif.; great-granddaughters, Keisha Williams of Raleigh, N.C., Auja Kyser of Annapolis, Md., and Rowan Calliope Wedel of Lawrence. Also survived by Iolene Hewitt-Wedel of Wesley Willows; niece, Carol Jaenicke (Stanley) Strainis of Hayward, Wis.; cousins, William Hoefs of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., and Roberta Micketts of St. Louis. Predeceased by his parents; first wife, Margaret Hotelling Wedel (d. 1940); second wife, Marjorie Scherphorn Wedel (d. 1987); sister, Jean; and brother-in-law, Kurt Jaenicke; and by his best of friends, Ed Hunt. Service of Remembrance at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at Court Street United Methodist Church, and will include an opportunity to share memories about Richard. The family asks that those who wish to honor his memory would commit at least one random act of kindness. Those wishing to give a memorial gift may direct it to Court Street's Neighborhood Outreach. Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory assisted the family.

Published in Rockford Register Star from June 12 to June 13, 2012
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