Darroll Ward Wendorf
Our beloved Pops, Darroll Ward Wendorf, went “home” to be with his Lord and Savior on February 8, 2021. He died peacefully at “the farm” where he was born over 92 years ago on March 6, 1928. At the time of his home-going, “Sonny,” as he was known to so many, was surrounded by the love of his life–his dear and beautiful bride of 74 years, our mom, Lois (Lambrecht) Wendorf, and his beloved family. Darroll attended Hillside School and Merrill High School and graduated summa cum laude from the School of Hard Knocks. He was a hard-working farmer (cows, horses, pigs) and he’ll be remembered long and well for one of his favorite activities–sitting atop his John Deere tractor, out in the fields, whistling away happily as he worked the land on the homestead that had been owned by his father and grandfather before him. Along with farming, Darroll also hauled milk to the Page Milk Company, logged with teams of horses as a young man, delivered papers to rural homes, worked for the Railway Express Agency at the train depots in Wausau and Merrill, drove school bus, and was a very skilled carpenter who helped several of his children build houses on the homestead. His favorite job of all time, however, was raising the eight children that he and Lois had made together. He and our mom provided rich opportunities for extending love, wise counsel, and endless enchantment to their 21 grandchildren, and 27 great grandchildren as well. Darroll and Lois also graciously opened their home to 17 foster teenagers over the years. Dad enjoyed music very much, sang and played the accordion, organ, and harmonica. He also enjoyed building and flying experimental aircraft, camping and traveling, golfing, horseback riding, making maple syrup, and flying remote-controlled airplanes. Dad loved our God, our mom, our family, and God’s church in that order. Dad’s life changed dramatically when, as a young man, he and Lois became Christians and started following Jesus together. His well-worn Bible and his honorable life stand as testimony to the love and grace of God in his life. Darroll was an active member of Bible Presbyterian Church serving for years as a deacon, an elder, an elder emeritus, and a Sunday School teacher. His kindness, wisdom, and gentle strength were blessings to all who knew him. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. What an incredible legacy Dad has left to all of us in his love for the Lord, his model of godly living, and his service to others. Daddy truly loved God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and loved his neighbors as himself.
Darroll is survived by his wife, Lois and eight children–Christine, Sherman, TX; David (Patti), Merrill; Cathy (Dave Goetz), Gleason; Carrie (Bob Gustin), Tomahawk; Don (Coreen), Merrill; Karen (Bruce Heldt), Gleason; Richard (Dawn), Merrill; and Cheri (Dan Hammond), Kalispell, MT. He is further survived by 21 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Pearl (Zimmerman) Wendorf, three sisters (Helen, Marian, and Velma), two brothers (Kenneth and Norman), and one grandson, Adam Wendorf.
Darroll’s absence will be felt deeply in the lives of those who knew and loved him, but we also rejoice knowing Dad is with Jesus and can see again, hear again, breathe again, and move again freely and without pain. Go, “Pops,” rest high on that mountain, and enjoy hearing our Heavenly Father saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
A public visitation will be held on Saturday, February 27th from 9:00-11:00 am in the foyer of Bible Presbyterian Church. A private memorial service for family will be held immediately following at 11:00 am. The memorial service will be live-streamed on the Bible Presbyterian Church-Merrill, Wisconsin Facebook page for those who wish to participate virtually. Memorials may be given to Bible Presbyterian Church, 1605 Hwy G, Merrill, WI 54452. The family would like to thank Pastor Andy Perry, Jenn, Rachael and the entire team from Aspirus Hospice and Comfort Care, and Lisa Weix and her team from Foundations Heathcare for their loving care for Daddy and support for all of us as caregivers.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.