Carl I. Wenger

May 20, 1932April 30, 2021

Carl I. Wenger died Friday, April 30, 2021, at the age of 88 at his home with the full knowledge that he was going to meet his Savior. Carl was the son and only child of the late John Kettering Wenger and Bertha Kreider Wenger. He was born in Rexmont, PA on May 20, 1932. Carl married Margaret Buffenmeyer on December 23, 1950. They have celebrated 70 years of marriage. They are the parents of seven children: Lloyd (Kitty) Wenger, Larry (Becky) Wenger, Nancy Layser (John), Carol Dieffenbach (Dennis), David Wenger (Gwen), Glenn Wenger (Robin) and Rose Walmer (Wally). They have 12 grand- children and 18 great grandchildren. Carl was preceded in death by two granddaughters. His early years observing his father’s business attributes in farming and merchandising were formative years for Carl. He graduated from Myerstown High School, class of 1950, and excelled in Future Farmers of America. FFA became a life-long passion as was evidenced in his and his son’s involvement at state and national levels. He has always encouraged high school students to participate in FFA and Carl has been a life-long supporter of the organization. He and his wife, Margaret began their marriage as dairy farmers on the Wenger Farm in Myerstown, Lebanon County. It didn’t take long for Carl to begin selling used farm equipment from behind the dairy barn. As the business grew the dairy cows were dispersed and the implement business became a full-time enterprise. Those early efforts have grown into what is today Wengers of Myerstown, one of the largest used farm & construction equipment and parts dealers east of the Mississippi River. Although Carl retired from the everyday dealings of the business, the company has been brought to an even higher level by his children. The name Wengers of Myerstown reflects the broadening scope of various companies that comprise the Wenger businesses. Undoubtedly, Carl’s greatest attribute was his generous spirit. Even in lean financial times his heart always spoke to those less fortunate or to a charitable organization that had a need. His giving spirit remains evident in his community, his church and service organizations. Carl and Margaret have been supporters of livestock sales for decades, supporting youth who show and sell their animals at county fairs and local 4-H and FFA shows where they not only bid generously, but since 2004, those young exhibitors have received a U.S. Savings Bond or paid club dues for each year they exhibit their livestock. Perhaps the greatest of these has been the contributions made to charitable organizations by The Wenger Foundation, most notably the annual Praise Dinner. Since its beginning the Foundation has raised and distributed over three million dollars to Christian, educational and community programs. Carl and Margaret focused much of their philanthropy on organizations supporting youth; FFA, 4-H, On Fire Youth Ministry, COBYS Family Services, Rodeheaver Boys Ranch and many other organizations.

Carl’s legacy of hope is that others will follow his philanthropic spirit and that others will live their lives with the same sense of care and compassion for the people with whom they interact. Carl was an active member of the Myerstown Lions Club for 70 years and the Myerstown/ELCO Rotary Club. His generous spirit is evident in both organizations and he remains as the outstanding fund raiser for the clubs’ activities, especially the Lions-Rotary Club annual Turkey Raffle. Let the record show that, by far, he is the outstanding sales member for this fundraiser and many of the turkeys he sells are donated to ministries for holiday meals. Carl worshiped and was an active member of the Myerstown Church of the Brethren. He remained true to the calling of his faith which began as a teenager at Midway Church of the Brethren, Lebanon, PA. Carl was recognized wherever he appeared, at auctions or local events, by his Western Stetson Hat (he owned 25 of them), his bolo tie, and the emblazoned W belt buckle. Carl’s legacy as the man with the “Big Hat, Big Heart” will live on. In lieu of flowers gifts may be made to On Fire Youth Ministry, PO Box 381, Myerstown, PA 17067. Carl’s biography, “Big Hat, Big Heart” is available through Wengers of Myerstown. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Monday, May 10, 2021 at 6:30 pm in South Lebanon Community Church, 13 Evergreen Road, Lebanon, PA. Clauser Funeral Home, Inc. is handling his arrangements.


  • On Fire Ministry


  • Celebration of Life

    Monday, May 10, 2021


Carl I. Wenger

have a memory or condolence to add?

ronald caldwell

May 12, 2021

carl wenger was one of the kindest gentlmen and real pro in the auction world .miss margaret may you and family know god confort in this trying time ron caldwell ocala fla

Steven Wolfe

May 12, 2021

My deepest and most sincere sympathy for the entire Wenger Family for the loss of the Great Carl L Wenger.
He was one truly gratifying and gracious man. He was always supportive of Youth Organizations like 4H and FFA. Two organizations I can proudly say that my Brothers and I were proud to be a part of growing up in Lebanon County. He was also supportive of our Local Lebanon Area Fair and He along with Margaret and their entire family were always present at a the fair as volunteers and buying animals at the youth livestock sale.
He will always be remembered for his big heart and community contributions in the lives of the young people he met. God Bless You Carl and may you rest in peace, Kind Sir.

C. Randall Smith

May 12, 2021

My sincere condolences to the Wenger Family. The time I spent learning and experiencing Wenger tradition and protocols has made me a better person.

Nancy Wenrich

May 10, 2021

My parents knew and admired Mr Wenger. After my father died he never forgot to be kind and supportive to my mother.
Over the years I came to admire him for all the goodness he spread throughout the community.
My deepest sympathies to his wife and family.

James Lafreeda

May 9, 2021

Sincerest condolences to the entire Wenger Family.

Carl, whom I and my friends affectionately call "Pop Wenger" was always so kind and generous to us.

Meeting as fans of his son Davey who raced dirt cars, "Pop Wenger" treated us not as just fans but family! I consider it a blessing to have known "Pop Wenger". As well as to have shared so many great experiences and memories with him.

What a great man, God Bless!
Love Jim and Becky Lafreeda

Dennis Polk

May 6, 2021

So many great memories of Carl and the Wenger family. So sorry for your loss . Prayers for all of you

Jack Vulgaris

May 5, 2021

I am terribly sorry to hear of your loss. I want to let you and family to know that you have my deepest sympathy. I worked for JI Case and knew Carl when he had a Case dealership. Our friendship goes back to 1962 and over the years we would see each other and talk about the good old days. Carl was full of life and never lost for words, a real people person, a true friend. I'm unable to attend Carl's thoughts and prayers are with you. Peace...Jack Vulgaris

Joe Legenstein

May 4, 2021

Sorry for your loss of your father. We will keep your family in our prayers....
Your dad was a great man and a giver...
God bless you and your family.
Thanks joe

Patti Neiswinter-Shipper

May 4, 2021

Dave, so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. I lost my dad 10 years ago and know how difficult it is. Many memories of our younger days. Peace and love to you and your family.


Jr. Roberts

May 4, 2021

Sorry to hear about Carl's passing, He was always a go-getter at the auctions. I always enjoyed talking to him. We have the family in our thoughts and prayers.
Junior & Vicky Roberts