June 15, 1944 - June 15, 2016
Mary Elizabeth Wendell, age 72, of Empire passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in the arms of her loving husband and now rests in God’s peaceful embrace.Mary wed Max Wendell on December 18, 1971. She earned a BA from Marygrove College, and received a Master’s Degree in Education from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University New Orleans. She spent her career in Huron Valley Schools, teaching Junior High Math, and teaching all elementary grades from 6-kindergarten. Mary belonged to St. Philip Neri Catholic Church of Empire and St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Port Charlotte, Florida. She took on leadership roles in both churches in the Peace and Justice Ministries, and Adult Faith Formation. Her love for children was expressed when she assisted with the Vacation Bible School each summer. She also helped organize the funeral luncheons at St. Philip’s. Mary belonged to the Leelanau Independent Women for Democratic Action and was an avid promoter of Human Rights. Mary had a passion for gardening, sewing, camping, kayaking, hiking and being outdoors. She hiked every trail in the Sleeping Bear Park and traveled to all 50 states. Along with some of her dear friends, she started a walking club in Empire called the “Sole Sisters.” She also enjoyed getting together with her Empire Bunko and Mahjong groups. Above all Mary will be remembered as a woman of deep faith and for her generosity and kindness. Her smile and sparkling eyes could light up a room.Mary is survived by her husband Max; sons Jeffrey Wendell of Kingsley, Charles Wendell of California, grandchildren Libby, Jordan, and Jonathan Wendell, and daughter-in-law Diane Woolem of Newport Beach, CA., and siblings Jim (Ruthann) Lapham of Commerce, John Lapham, Joe (Shirley) Lapham, Tom (Monica) Lapham, of Fenton, Bill (Barb) Lapham of Commerce Twp., Sue (Pat) Munce of Waterford, Ann (Kip) Bonds of Livonia, and Patrick (Diane) of Whitmore Lake. Preceding Mary in death is her brother Mike (Georgiann) of Weimer, Texas.Visitation and Scripture Service will take place on Friday, July 15, at 6:00 pm at St. Philip Neri Church in Empire. Funeral Mass celebrating Mary’s life will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 16, at St. Philip’s. Memorials may be made to Father Fred Foundation, 826 Hastings St. Traverse City, MI 49686 or the Women’s Resource Center, 720 S. Elmwood #2, Traverse City, MI 49684.
Mary Elizabeth Wendell, age 72, of Empire passed away on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in the arms of her loving husband and now rests in God’s peaceful embrace.Mary wed Max Wendell on December 18, 1971. She earned a BA from Marygrove College,... View Obituary & Service Information
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