Note: Publication: The Register Herald Published: Feb. 13, 2008 Headline: Houston J. Wendell Fayetteville - Houston Jennings Wendell, husband of Patricia Phillips Wendell, died Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, at Bowers Hospice House, Beckley, surrounded by his family. He was 86 and a lifelong resident of Fayetteville. Mr. Wendell, known as "Wheat", lived a life characterized by hard work, intense devotion to his family and service to his community. He was born in the old Fayetteville Hospital on March 24, 1921. His parents were the late Houston J. and Kathleen Light Wendell, and his only sibling was Jack Gray Wendell, who died in 2006. While growing up, Mr. Wendell learned carpentry skills from his maternal grandfather, Thomas A. Light, a well-known builder in Fayetteville. He began working at various jobs in order to help support his mother and brother after his father died in 1936. In 1939, Mr. Wendell graduated from Fayetteville High School, where he played football and basketball, pole vaulted and threw discus. In 1941, he joined the U.S. Navy, and served in the Pacific until the end of World War II. He was a gunner’s mate on the USS PC 576 and the USS Tucson, and was in Tokyo Bay on V-J Day. After the war ended, he returned to his job at DuPont, where he had begun working before the war, and continued there until his retirement in 1982. In the 1970s, he owned and operated a lumber yard called WW Building Supply in Fayetteville, and, beginning in the 1970s, he helped his wife with her antiques businesses, including her first shop, Red Door Antiques. He was a member of the Fayetteville Volunteer Fire Department for more than 25 years, several of which he served as its fire chief. He was also a member of Fayetteville Presbyterian Church. In addition to his wife of more than 60 years, he is survived by his sons, Charles Houston and David Patrick, as well as by Charlie's wife, Kay, and their children R. Preston, Preston’s wife, Sarah, and C. Stephen; and by David’s daughter, Abigail Grace Marie. He was preceded in death by his son, Richard Gray Wendell, in 1977. He is survived by Mason Gray Wendell and James Hunter Wendell, the sons of Richard and Anne Chiles Wendell, and by his great-granddaughter, Lyra Gray, who was born to Mason and Megan Wendell in September 2007. He is also survived by his nieces, Patricia Proctor and Courtney Proctor Cross, whom he and his wife reared after the deaths of their parents, Dr. Pete and Courtney Phillips Proctor, in 1970, and by Patricia’s and Courtney’s siblings, Kimberley Proctor Crabtree, James D. Proctor and John A. Proctor; by Courtney’s son, Fisher Cross, her husband, Patrick Hooten, and his daughter, Rachel; by Kim’s and her husband Bob’s children, Seth, Blaine and Courtney Brooke; by Jim’s wife, Rebecca; and by John’s and his wife Karen’s children, Emily, Pete and Ethan. He is also survived by his brother Jack’s widow, Pat, their son, Thomas, and daughter, Jennifer, and by Thomas’s son, Jonathan. He is survived by his wife’s seven living siblings and their spouses, Charles L. and Jeanne Phillips; Joseph and Kay Phillips; Martha V. Phillips; Eleanor and Cam Wimer; Mary Margaret Thrift; John and Martha Phillips; and Susan and Dennis Hanson, and their many children and grandchildren. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at Fayetteville Presbyterian Church with the Rev. John Harris and the Rev. Catherine George officiating. Interment will follow at Huse Memorial Park, Fayetteville. Visitation will be 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the church, 401 W. Maple Ave., Fayetteville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Wheat’s memory to Bowers Hospice House, P.O. Box 1472, Beckley, WV 25802-1472. The family wishes to thank the hospice staff for their compassion and care during the last several weeks. Online condolences and other information available online at www.doddpaynehessfuneralhome.com. Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, is in charge of arrangements.
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