John "Val" Valentine Wachtel IV

December 26, 1944October 26, 2020

On the morning of October 26 as an early snow was gently falling in Wichita, Val Wachtel’s beautiful spirit left us. John Valentine Wachtel, IV - known to most as just “Val” - was born December 26, 1944 at Ft. Riley, KS, to John “Jack” Clover Wachtel and Maxine Arthur Wachtel.

Val grew up in Junction City, KS; High School Class of 1962. He graduated from Emporia State and taught High School for a year before Uncle Sam called him to duty. Val joined the Army and trained in Special Forces Military Intelligence. He paid five visits to Vietnam as a Green Beret Airborne Ranger.

Val then graduated from Washburn Law School and went to work as a Public Defense attorney in Topeka. He later moved to Wichita to take a position with a law firm that is now called Klenda, Austerman. He met Jacqueline Dudley on November 27th, 1987 on a blind date and they married in their back yard on October 6, 1990. Val was a graceful athlete who enjoyed tennis, volleyball and golf.

Val spent the last 20 years of his career as a criminal defense attorney with Klenda,Austerman. He loved the challenge of the court room and was known for his integrity and his unique sense of style.

Val retired from law on January 25, 2020 at age 75. Vascular Dementia ended his life.

Val was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Gretchen Marie Wachtel Gonzalez. He is survived by his wife, Jackie; sisters Betsy Hawkins, Evelyn Wachtel, Karen Wachtel, Winnifred Wachtel, Aria Knee; several nieces, nephews and their children

Cremation has taken place and per his request, no services are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Washburn University School of Law, General Scholarship Fund, or Serenity Hospice Care 3221 N Toben St #200, Wichita, KS 67226.


John "Val" Valentine Wachtel IV

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jay Greeno

November 8, 2020

Val and I traveled a lot of miles together. I will miss him.

Laureen Bryant

October 29, 2020

I never knew Mr. Wachtel, but anytime I was watching the news when I lived in Wichita and he was involved in a trial, I was always amazed at the grace and dedication he exhibited. Always the professional, I know he will be missed.

Harry Simpson

October 28, 2020

Rest John, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation. U.S. Army, Vietnam.

Jana Garrels

October 27, 2020

So sorry to hear about Vals passing. I worked with him for many years at Klenda Mitchell. Always loved debating him on almost any subject as it would always end with his signature laugh and a sarcastic remark. He will be missed. Prayers to his family.