Donald Leo Wendle

Godfrey | Monday, March 2 2015

Donald Leo Wendle, 81, of Godfrey, IL, fortified with the sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church, was called by God to eternal rest on Monday, March 02, 2015 at 1:10 a.m.

He was born in Alton, IL on January 2, 1934 (1-2-34); the third of five children to Leo Louis and Helen Virginia (Groshan) Wendle.

Following graduation from St. Mary’s Elementary School and Alton High School (class of 1951), he attended Shurtleff College and began his career with Owens-Illinois (O-I) Glass Co. in Alton.  By way of bus and hitch hiking, he completed night classes to earn dual associate degrees in Drafting and Engineering Design from Washington University in 1956. 

On Oct 24, 1959, Don married his beloved Janis Kathryn Miller at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton, and she survives. In 1994, he retired from O-I as a Manufacturing Engineer at the Godfrey Machine Manufacturing facility.

 His life-long passion for golf began as a young caddy, and includes three hole-in-ones (3rd in April 2014). He shot his age several times beginning with a 69 at The Woodlands and a 71 at Emerald Greens.  He was inducted into the Alton Golf Hall of Fame in 2007. His love for fishing centered on local farm ponds north of Brighton, Canada, and the Michigan UP. He and Janis enjoyed travelling to elder hostels and other attractions with friends and family throughout the US & Canada.  In 2002, he created detailed drawings of Robert Wadlow’s giant chair for artist Jerry McKenna, sculptor of the bronze replica that accompanies the Wadlow statue in Alton.

As a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus, he nurtured strong Christian principles and a devoted prayer life which included a daily rosary. His memory as a loving and strong role model will live-on with family and friends.

Also surviving are three children, nine (9) grandchildren, and four (4) great-grandchildren.  Anthony (Tony) Wendle of Rosewood Heights, IL with son Lucas; Eric and Marci (Roberts) Wendle of Godfrey, IL with children Paige, Jayne, Peter, Maria, Monica and Thomas; Anne and Mike Schleeper of Macomb, OK with son Michael his wife Heather and great-grandchildren Keyton and Kaden, and son Dustin his wife Elisabeth and great-grandchildren Caleb and Nicholas. Preceding him in death were his parents and siblings Virginia (Gin) White, Eugene (Gene), Gerald (Jerry) and Paul.

Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday March 04, 2015 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alton.  A funeral mass will immediately follow at 11:00 a.m.  Burial will be in the Upper Alton Cemetery.  Don prefers masses in lieu of flowers.  Memorials may be made to The Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) Foundation, The Iacocca Family Foundation (diabetes), United Cerebral Palsy, or a local pro-life charity of your choice.

Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Godfrey is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences and guest book may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Elias, Kallal & Schaaf Funeral Home

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