Robert Frey Wenger, 95, of Downers Grove, Illinois and formerly of Elgin, Iowa, died Saturday, December 1, 2018 at Country Meadows Retirement Community in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He was born on August 12, 1923 to Chris and Sophia (Frey) Wenger on a farm near Elgin, Iowa. Robert attended a country school and graduated from Elgin High School in 1940.
After a year at the University of Iowa, he served over three years in the Army during World War II with the 66th Black Panther Infantry Division in the European Theater. Before returning home, he studied one semester at Biarritz American University in Biarritz, France. Following discharge in 1946, he enlisted in the newly formed United States Air Force Ready Reserve and retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1983 with the rank of Major and a total military service of over 40 years. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1948 with a BS degree in Industrial engineering, was employed by Standard Oil Company (AMOCO) for 34 years and retired in 1982 in the general office at Chicago. Following retirement, he served 25 years as a volunteer SCORE business counselor at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
Robert and his high school sweetheart, Selma Mae Light, were united in marriage on December 25, 1949 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Elgin. Two children were born to this union – Steven Robert and Suellen.
He was an avid gardener, active in supporting his children in scouting, a wine maker, and could repair pretty much anything! He enjoyed travel for business and vacations, especially the family vacation to Europe and the trip he and Selma made to the Holy Land.
Robert considered his greatest gift to be the sacrifice of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who saved him from his sins. He and Selma enjoyed doing devotions and Bible studies every day and they were members of First Presbyterian Church in La Grange (where his best friend of WWII was the pastor), Faith United Methodist Church and most recently, First Presbyterian Church of Downers Grove where he enjoyed Men’s Bible Study each week.
Robert is survived by his two children Steven (Laura) Wenger of Louisville, KY, and Suellen (Jay) Wenger Ledvina of Harrisburg, PA, and his four grandchildren, Jordan Wenger, Christian Wenger, Lara (Christopher) Ledvina Valentine, and Major Justin Ledvina, USAF. He has two great grandchildren, Jace Valentine and Jana Mae Valentine. Robert is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Jack, and two sisters, Donna Brainard and Betty Masonhall, and his wife, Selma.
In Robert’s memory, donations may be made to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.
Funeral Service will be held at 3:00 pm on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Elgin, Iowa with Rev. Gary Catterson as the officiant. There will be a one hour visitation before services at the funeral home.
Burial with military rites will follow at Elgin Cemetery, Elgin, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elgin, Iowa is helping the family with arrangements.