James E Wenzel Sr., 76, of St James City, passed away Feb, 19, 2013. His wonderful life began Aug. 16, 1936, in Morris, Ill., the son of Eldon Wesley and Lillian Florence Wenzel.
He graduated from Washburn High School in Minneapolis in 1954. After attending Macalester College in St. Paul, he joined the A/C Spark Plug sales team. After a successful career as GMC truck center manager, he retired as the merchandising and training manager for GMC Truck and Coach. After spending many years as snowbirds migrating between Michigan and the Pine Island KOA, he and Judy relocated to St. James City permanently in 2001.
He enjoyed watching and interacting with all of the plentiful wildlife while embracing the Pine Island time lifestyle. Active in his community, and a very active member of St. John's Episcopal Church on Pine Island, he was an example of faith and love to all. He was constantly surrounded by his many friends and family.
James E Wenzel Sr.
He was one of the first patients nationwide to receive a Ventricular Assist Device-heart pump (VAD). He was an example of strength and courage while becoming one of the longest surviving recipients of this life giving system. He faced his challenges head on and with a huge smile at every step. His courage and dedication to his family and friends was an inspiration to us all. He became the only VAD patient to do home dialysis, was featured on TV and provided training for others receiving this gift. His sacrifices and strength will continue to help many future heart patients due to the many lessons learned during his care.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Judy; brother, Don; and his sister Miriam; and his children, Wendy Kato, James Wenzel Jr., Jennifer Roach and James Armour.
He was greatly loved by his 10 grandchildren, Christopher and Caitlin Kato, Daryl, Sarah and Emily Wenzel, James, Anne, and Laura Roach, and Alicia and Dylan Armour.
The funeral will be held Saturday, March 9, at 11 a.m., at St John's Episcopal Church. He wished that in lieu of flowers, gifts be offered to his beloved church, St. John's Episcopal, 7771 Stringfellow Road, St. James City 33956.