Our beloved Pops, Darroll Ward Wendorf, went “home” to be with his Lord and Savior on
February 8, 2021. He died peacefully at “the farm” where he was born over 92 years ago on
March 6, 1928. At the time of his home-going, “Sonny,” as he was known to so many, was
surrounded by the love of his life--his dear and beautiful bride of 74 years, our mom, Lois
(Lambrecht) Wendorf, and his beloved family.
Darroll attended Hillside School and Merrill High School and graduated summa cum laude from
the School of Hard Knocks. He was a hard-working farmer (cows, horses, pigs) and he’ll be
remembered long and well for one of his favorite activities--sitting atop his John Deere tractor,
out in the fields, whistling away happily as he worked the land on the homestead that had been
owned by his father and grandfather before him. Along with farming, Darroll also hauled milk to
the Page Milk Company, logged with teams of horses as a young man, delivered papers to rural
homes, worked for the Railway Express Agency at the train depots in Wausau and Merrill, drove
school bus, and was a very skilled carpenter who helped several of his children build houses on
His favorite job of all time, however, was raising the eight children that he and Lois had made
together. He and our mom provided rich opportunities for extending love, wise counsel, and
endless enchantment to their 21 grandchildren, and 27 great grandchildren as well. Darroll and
Lois also graciously opened their home to 17 foster teenagers over the years. Dad enjoyed
music very much, sang and played the accordion, organ, and harmonica. He also enjoyed
building and flying experimental aircraft, camping and traveling, golfing, horseback riding,
making maple syrup, and flying remote-controlled airplanes.
Dad loved our God, our mom, our family, and God’s church in that order. Dad’s life changed
dramatically when, as a young man, he and Lois became Christians and started following Jesus
together. His well-worn Bible and his honorable life stand as testimony to the love and grace of
God in his life. Darroll was an active member of Bible Presbyterian Church serving for years as
a deacon, an elder, an elder emeritus, and a Sunday School teacher. His kindness, wisdom,
and gentle strength were blessings to all who knew him. He was always ready to lend a helping
hand to anyone in need. What an incredible legacy Dad has left to all of us in his love for the
Lord, his model of godly living, and his service to others. Daddy truly loved God with all his
heart, soul, mind and strength and loved his neighbors as himself.
Darroll is survived by his wife, Lois and eight children--Christine, Sherman, TX; David (Patti),
Merrill; Cathy (Dave Goetz), Gleason; Carrie (Bob Gustin), Tomahawk; Don (Coreen), Merrill;
Karen (Bruce Heldt), Gleason; Richard (Dawn), Merrill; and Cheri (Dan Hammond), Kalispell,
MT. He is further survived by 21 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. He was preceded in
death by his parents, Arthur and Pearl (Zimmerman) Wendorf, three sisters (Helen, Marian, and
Velma), two brothers (Kenneth and Norman), and one grandson, Adam Wendorf.
Darroll’s absence will be felt deeply in the lives of those who knew and loved him, but we also
rejoice knowing Dad is with Jesus and can see again, hear again, breathe again, and move
again freely and without pain. Go, “Pops,” rest high on that mountain, and enjoy hearing our
Heavenly Father saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
A public visitation will be held on Saturday, February 27th from 9:00-11:00 am in the foyer of
Bible Presbyterian Church. A private memorial service for family will be held immediately
following at 11:00 am. The memorial service will be live-streamed on the Bible Presbyterian
Church-Merrill, Wisconsin Facebook page for those who wish to participate virtually.
Memorials may be given to Bible Presbyterian Church, 1605 Hwy G, Merrill, WI , 54452. The
family would like to thank Pastor Andy Perry, Jenn, Rachael and the entire team from Aspirus
Hospice and Comfort Care, and Lisa Weix and her team from Foundations Heathcare for their
loving care for Daddy and support for all of us as caregivers.
Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online
condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.
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