Wendell John Toenjes was born on the family farm in Buncombe Township, Sioux County, Iowa on June 18, 1925, the son of John C. and Maria (Onken) Toenjes. He was raised on a farm southwest of Maurice. He was baptized in the Christian faith on July 26, 1925 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Reading Township, Ireton. Wendell confirmed his faith in the Triune God on July 16, 1939 at St. John's. He attended country school at Reading Township #7 and graduated from Maurice High School in 1942.
Wendell was united in marriage to Lillian Nielsen on Aug.t 27, 1948, at St. John's Lutheran. This union was blessed with 6 children: Carol, Ted, Sharon, Stanley, Jan, and Alan.
After Lillian and Wendell were married, his father retired from farming and he assumed management of the family farm. Wendell was also involved with selling seed corn for several years. He willingly served his God in many capacities including president of the Sioux City zone Walther League in his teens. He served the Iowa West Lutheran Laymen's League District Secretary from 1974 to 1978. At St. John's he served in all elected offices through the years and had also taught youth and later adult bible classes and directed the choir for many years.
His service to his community included 24 years on the Sioux County A.S.C.S. with the last 10 years as chairman, past president of the Sioux County Farm Bureau from 1980 to 1984, secretary and treasurer of the Reading Township School Board upon its merger with the Maurice School District and later served on the Maurice-Orange City School Board. He also served a term on the Sioux County Extension Council and the Sioux County Fair Board.
Lillian died in December 1994. Wendell moved to Le Mars in 1998. While living in Le Mars, Wendell became active with the Lion's Club and worshiped at Grace Lutheran Church.
Survivors include his six children: Carol Sylvester and her husband Jeff of Columbus, Ohio, Ted Toenjes and his wife Connie of Urbandale, Sharon Wendte and her husband Keith of Willowbrook, Ill., Stanley Toenjes and his wife Joyce of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jan Denner and her husband Allen of Ames, and the Rev. Alan "Hal" Toenjes and his wife Joyce of Green Bay, Wis.; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and several friends throughout Plymouth and Sioux Counties.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John C. and Maria (Onken) Toenjes; a brother, Harold and his wife Lavon Toenjes; and two sisters, Thelma Toenjes and Elvira Kading and her husband Paul; and a great-grandson, Grant Moore.
Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Grace Lutheran Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Dave Daumer of St. John's Lutheran Church, Reading Township, rural Ireton, officiating. Interment services will be 9 a.m. Thursday at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, rural Ireton. Visitations with the family present will be after 5 p.m. today (Wednesday) at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars, Iowa followed by a 7:30 p.m. prayer service at the funeral home.
Pallbearers will be Ted Toenjes, Stanley Toenjes, Hal Toenjes, Jeff Sylvester, Keith Wendte, and Allen Denner.
Memorials can be directed to Hospice of Siouxland, St. John's Cemetery Fund, or Grace Lutheran Church Building Fund.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.