Wendell Wayne Fenn
August 8, 1922 – November 4, 2019
Brigadier General Wendell Wayne Fenn (U.S. Army, Retired) passed away on Monday, November 4, 2019 at the age of 97. Born on August 8, 1922 in Kokomo, Indiana, he was the son of Floyd and Elsie Fenn.
Wendell enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940 at age 18. Two years later he rose to the rank of Master Sergeant and in early 1944 he graduated from Officer Candidate School. As a Second Lieutenant, he served as a member of the 101st Airborne glider troops and on June 5, 1944, one day before D-Day, he glided into Normandy as an early wave of the Allied invasion of Western Europe. From there he fought his way through the European theatre, was at the Battle of the Bulge and received two Purple Hearts along the way for wounds he received in combat.
After WWII, Wendell attended college under the GI Bill and received degrees in both accounting and law. Wendell was a career military man and served in a variety of roles, including several posts at the Pentagon. Wendell received countless military awards and honors for his dedication and bravery, and he retired in 1982 after 42 years of service. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him.
Wendell loved retirement and stayed busy with many hobbies and interests. Because he loved his country, he was active in many civic and veteran organizations. He liked guns and the idea of having a badge, so he served five years as an Arizona Ranger. He liked to watch sports, particularly his University of Arizona Wildcats. He also liked music and enjoyed playing the organ, piano, and any other instrument he could get his hands on. He loved his friends and continued to make new ones until his final days. Never one to turn down an excuse to socialize or celebrate, he loved birthday parties (particularly his own), happy hours, and sharing margaritas with friends and family. And above all else, Wendell loved his family - he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Wendell will be missed by all that knew and loved him, and the stories of his larger-than-life personality, jovial spirit, and clever wit will not be forgotten.
Wendell is preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Betty Jane Wilcox Fenn, and his daughter, Jane Ann Jackman. He is survived by his son Mickey (Paula) Fenn; grandchildren Chris Jackman, Jamie (Will) Strickler, Marc and Jason Fenn; and great-grandchildren Sloane and Cooper Fenn Strickler.
Wendell’s family wants to especially thank George and Peggy Gluski, Don and Ellen Beene, and John and Barbara McFadden. They were faithful and loyal friends for many years and provided indispensable help, support, and companionship to Wendell and his family.
Friends are invited to Wendell’s funeral service on Friday, November 15 at 11 a.m., with Rev. Patrick Cunningham officiating, at East Lawn Palms Mortuary & Cemetery’s Mausoleum Chapel located at 5801 E. Grant Rd. in Tucson.
- Funeral Service Friday, November 15, 2019
- Committal Service Friday, November 15, 2019
Wendell Wayne Fenn
November 11, 2019
One of my favorite people of all times! Many talents ! I listened to his story’s and the seriousness of situations he told, but he kept his wits and grace. Always happy and proud of his family. Rip Wendell! My thoughts
Go to the family he loved.