Richard “Dick” L. Wendl, 81, of Newton died on Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 25, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newton. The family will greet friends from 5-7 p.m., Friday, August 24, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory followed by a Vigil Service at 7 p.m. Burial will be held at a later date in Cresco. Memorials to Dick’s family may be left at the church the morning of the service or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Dick was born March 19, 1937 in a farm house north of Cresco to Leonard and Gertrude (Ondrasek) Wendl. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1955 where he lettered all four years in both baseball and basketball. He attended Boys State in 1954. Dick met the love of his life, Martha “Marty” Henry in high school. They were married December 27, 1958. They became the parents of four wonderful children; Dan, Julie, Mary Jo and Marsha.
Dick grew up shining shoes, mowing lawns, throwing hay, painting buildings, and pumping gas. After high school he went to work in the clothing business. In 1961 he sold insurance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Boone where he became Regional Manager for Boone and Dallas Counties. In 1967, he returned to Cresco managing the Leuthold’s clothing stores. Dick was active in his home town community as President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Cresco Country Club, on the Church Council, and the Howard County Hospital Board. He also was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In 1981, Dick and Marty sold their interest in the Cresco store and bought the Leuthold’s Store in Newton where they retired in 2003. One of Dick’s fondest memories was the young people’s lives he touched who worked for him in the store through the DECA programs. He served on the Newton Chamber Board. He is a member of Sacred Heart Church where he served as Eucharist Minister, Hospitality Minister, and other volunteer duties. Dick enjoyed golf, all outdoor sports and never missed his annual fishing trip with his buddies for over 40 years. He also enjoyed all spectator sports and was an avid Cyclones, Twins and Vikings fan. Dick especially enjoyed spending time with his family, events with his kids and grandchildren and traveling with Marty where they traveled to both coasts several times to visit extended family and friends.
Dick leaves behind his wife, Marty of 60 years; son, Dan Wendl of Mooresville, North Carolina; daughters, Julie Wendl of Newton, Mary Jo (Mike) Ramey of New Virginia, and Marsha (Todd) Smothers of Johnston; seven grandchildren, Andrew, Ryan (Victoria), Kristina, and Kaitlyn Wendl, Dominic Cresta, and Cael and Charlie Smothers; his one brother, Joe Wendl of Maplewood, Minnesota; three sisters-in-law and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.