Carolyn Ruby Searles was born Jan. 29, 1929, in Akron, the daughter of Howard and Kristine "Mamie" (Christensen) Searles. Carolyn was raised on a farm northeast of Akron. She attended country school and graduated from Akron High School. Following high school, Carolyn attended Western Union College in Le Mars where she received her teaching certificate. She taught school in Akron and Lawton.
Carolyn was united in marriage to Donald Wenzel on July 31, 1959 at Rock Rapids. The couple farmed in Lyon County for a few years before moving to Hinton in 1968. For the next few years she stayed at home to raise her children. In 1975, Carolyn began her 19-year career with Indian Hills Nursing and Rehab Center in Sioux City. She retired in 1994 as the head cook.
Carolyn enjoyed gardening, canning, and reading. She especially enjoyed the opportunities to help care and nurture her grandchildren. Her family was always her highest priority.
Survivors include her three children: Roger and Lori Wenzel, David and Kim Wenzel, and Bruce and Connie Wenzel, all of Hinton; four grandchildren: Ryan, Riley, Morgan, and Ross Wenzel; four brothers: Walter and Peggy Searles of Akron, Daniel Searles of Akron, Alvin Searles of Hawarden and William Searles of Sioux City; two sisters: Dorothy and Robert Siebsen of Minneapolis, Minn., and Lois Willer of Akron; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Kristine "Mamie" (Christensen) Searles; husband, Donald Wenzel on Aug. 23, 1995; two brothers, Lloyd and Irwin Searles; a sister, Anita Young; a sister-in-law, Virginia Searles; and a brother-in-law, Harry Willer.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery, Merrill. Visitation will begin after 4 p.m. today (Thursday) with the family present to greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitation will continue Thursday morning at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. to service time.
Pallbearers will be her sons: Roger, David, and Bruce Wenzel; her grandsons: Ryan and Morgan Wenzel; Randy Roehrich and Bill Hinkel. Honorary casket bearers will be Riley and Ross Wenzel.