SALEM - Joseph Andrew Wendel, 87, died in his home in Salem, Ohio, on Jan. 1, 2014.
Joe was born in Salem on Nov. 30, 1926, to Anna and Pavel Wendelsky, who were Lithuanian immigrants.
He graduated with the Salem High School Class of 1945 and served in the U. S. Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic instructor, earning an honorable discharge in 1947. He supported his mother as a tool and die maker while earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Youngstown State University. Later, he earned his master's degree from the University of Akron and became a professional engineer.
Joe married the late MaryEllen Wendel (Naughton) in 1958. They lived for a short time in Warren, Ohio, before returning to Salem in 1960, where they raised five children.
Mr. Wendel served as professor and associate Dean of Engineering and Technology at Salem Technical School and Kent State University from 1960 until he retired in 1989. He was named Kent State University Professor Emeritus.
Throughout his life, Joe was active in St. Paul Catholic Church of Salem. He served as minister of the Eucharist, member of the Board of Catholic Charities, and member of the Knights of Columbus, fourth degree.
Joe loved learning and sharing his knowledge with others, took pleasure in building and repairing things for his family, and enjoyed classical music.
Joe is fondly remembered by his five children, Joanne (Jim) Morrison, Barb (Ed McIlduff) Wendel, Genie (Don Yeasted) Wendel, Paul (Joyce) Wendel, and Marti Wendel; his seven grandchildren: James Morrison, Matt Grimm, Eric (Alexis) Grimm, Edward McIlduff Jr., Daniel McIlduff, Marie (Steve) Hovanic, and Emily Wendel; and his great-granddaughter, Aria, to whom he was very close. He also is survived by four nephews and nieces and 11 grand-nephews and grand-nieces.
Calling hours will be Friday, Jan. 3 from 6-8 p.m. at the Stark Memorial Funeral Home, 1014 E. State St. in Salem, 330-332-5139.
A Knights of Columbus ceremony will follow at 8 p.m., including praying the rosary.
A funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9:30 a.m. at the St. Paul Catholic Church, 935 E. State St. in Salem, 330-332-0337. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Salem Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, remembrance donations may be made to the Salem Alumni Association, 330 E. State St., Salem, Ohio 44460, 330-332-1427 or to St. Paul's School, 925 E. State St., Salem, Ohio 44460, 330-337-3607.
Joe's obituary may be viewed and condolences sent online at www.starkmemorial.com.