Wendler, Paul H.
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle passed away early Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at the age of 96 years.
He was born March 8, 1917, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of the late Paul A. and Anna (Ossenbrink) Wendler. He married his high school sweetheart, Phoebe Gardner, on August 16, 1941. They moved to Saginaw in 1941, beginning his career with General Motors Saginaw Steering Gear. He had served as Plant Manager from 1956 until 1970, and then as Director of Purchasing and Quality Control from 1970 until retiring in 1982. He had served on the Saginaw City Council, and as Saginaw City Mayor in the 1970’s, during which time he was instrumental in the building of the Saginaw Civic Center and bringing hockey to Saginaw. The Wendler Arena was named for him. He was an active member of Faith Ev. Lutheran Church. He was very active in conservation, holding all the offices in the Saginaw Field and Stream Club and played an active role in the Michigan United Conservation Club, the National Wildlife Federation, served on a taskforce for the Department of Natural Resources, a member of the National Grouse Society, the William B. Mershon Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and many other organizations. He received many awards for his work in conservancy. He was very active in civic and community affairs, serving as Trustee and Vice President of the Frank Andersen Foundation, the Saginaw Valley State University Foundation, was a member of the Germania Town and Country Club, the Saginaw Country Club, the Saginaw Rotary Club, served on Governor Milliken’s Crime Commission and the Saginaw Valley Citizen’s Crime Commission (now Crime Stoppers), the Tri-County Solid Waste Authority, and the Boy Scouts of America, serving as Chairman of its Jamboree. Mr. Wendler and two friends formed the Midland Energy Company, and established windmill operations in the Thumb and Ludington. In 1978, he received his Honorary Doctorate from Saginaw Valley State University.
Surviving besides his wife, Phoebe, are one son and daughter-in-law, Paul O. and Betsy Wendler; one daughter Anne Marie Ellis; grandchildren, Scott and Beth Wendler, Julie DelValle, Lissa and Vince Schuessler, Christopher Neil Hamill; John and Sherrie Ellis; Melissa and Robin Mestdaugh; Theresa and Larry Bybee; Rebecca Samson; 19 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, and their families. A daughter, Gretchen Anne Hamill predeceased him in 2006. He was also predeceased by five sisters and one brother.
Funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4460 Mackinaw Road. Rev. Michael Hahn will officiate with entombment in Roselawn Mausoleum. His family will receive friends at the W. L. Case & Company Funeral Chapel, 4480 Mackinaw Road, from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 25, 2013, and then at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider Faith Ev. Lutheran Church, the Saginaw Field and Stream Club, or the Michigan United Conservation Club (MUCC). www.casefuneralhome.com