Colonel Gary C. Wendel (USAF Retired) passed away Saturday, May 8, 2021. Gary was raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1952 where he was Vice-President of his Senior Class. In 1956 he graduated from Northwestern University where he was active as President of his college fraternity, Signa Alpha Epsilon. In 1959 he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from Drake University Law School, where he was the President of his law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. That year he was admitted to the Iowa Bar.
In 1959 he was appointed a Judge Advocate in the US Air Force. He spent the next 30 years on active duty, serving his country. Overseas tours included Bitburg Air Base, 1961 to 1964; Phan Rang Air Base, Vietnam, 1971; US European Command, Stuttgart, Germany, 1972 to 1976. He attended Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA in 1972 and Air War College in 1976. Colonel Wendel retired in 1989 from the Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base.
Gary was an accomplished golfer throughout his life. He was the City Champion in Lake Charles, LA, Base Champion at Bitburg AB and Stuttgart, Germany. He played golf in 5 continents and 16 countries, including 40 courses in Scotland and Ireland. Gary joined Rocky Bayou Country Club in 1988 and served as President in 1996.
Gary is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marianne Gambke Wendel; son Mark and wife Donne; son Brett and wife Rebecca; and grandchildren Casie, Kellie, Todd and Ryan.
At his request, a private service will be held at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, FL. The family wishes to extend their gratitude for the support and kindness shown to them during this difficult time.
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