Helen Marie Wendling

Obituary
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Helen Marie (nee Reid) Wendling Helen Marie (nee Reid) Wendling, 78, passed peacefully in her home on November 12, 2012. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Donald N. Wendling (1979) and her parents Thomas (Tom) and Mary Ann (Mollie) Reid. Helen leaves behind beloved children and their spouses: Michele M. Feeney (Matthew Feeney), a lawyer practicing in Phoenix, Arizona; Andrea L. Harmeling (Michael Harmeling), a doctor practicing in Boyne City, Michigan; and Michael D. Wendling (Michelle Wendling), the St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney. Helen leaves behind her beloved grandchildren who brought her great joy and pride: Maureen, Colleen, Michael and Joseph Feeney, and their chosen brother, Rus Bigege; Anna, Katherine, Megan and Benjamin Harmeling; and Sean, Matthew, Thomas and Riley Wendling. Helen leaves behind many dear friends from her lifelong community of Emmett, Michigan, and her long careers in education and business. Helen will be remembered for her integrity and character, intellect and respect for education, work ethic and persistence, and her love of her children, grandchildren, and all children. She will be remembered for her beauty, elegance and presence. She will be remembered for her quiet ability to chart her own course and keep her own counsel. Helen loved the lyrics of a classic Sinatra tune, "My Way" - "I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way." Helen was a retired teacher (Eastern Michigan University, B.S. 1955, Michigan State University, M.A. 1984, Wayne State University, Ed.S. 1988) and retired in 1995 after forty years with the Port Huron Area Schools. In the late 1960s, she and her husband Don took up residence on the farm homesteaded by her Irish family in the mid-1800s in Emmett, Michigan. They restored the farm and launched a Christmas tree business. She took great pride in seeing the farm evolve into a home for her son Mike and his family, and a refuge for Michele and Andrea and their families. She also owned and operated Emmett Hardware, Inc. for over thirty years, a local business located on Main Street in Emmett. Helen's grandmother, Margaret Reid, started that business in the 1890s, after her husband passed away as a young man, leaving her with ten children to raise. Helen was an avid reader who never lost her love of learning. She attended dozens of Elderhostels, travelling to most corners of the United States over the last two decades of her life, and overseas as well. She was a good citizen with many volunteer commitments in the community, including long service on the Wales Township Board. She mailed in her last ballot in early November (though she never did disclose for whom she voted). Visitation will occur at Kaatz Funeral Directors, Inc., 71235 Memphis Ridge Road, Richmond, Michigan 48062 on Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the Rosary being said at 4:00 p.m. Helen's life will be celebrated with a Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 10828 Brandon Road, Emmett, Michigan, 48022 on Friday, November 16, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. Helen made all her sacraments and raised her children as a devout member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Fr. Tom Kuehnemund will officiate. Visitation with the family will begin in the church lobby at 10:00 a.m. After the Mass, burial will follow at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Kenockee Cemetery at 11:30. The family will receive friends and family after the burial at a luncheon at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Hall located on the church property. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the Emmett Baseball League, 10256 Webb Road, Wales, Michigan, 48027.

Published in The Times Herald from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2012
Funeral Home
Kaatz Funeral Directors
71235 Memphis Ridge Road Richmond, MI 48062
(586) 727-3434
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