Rev. Timothy E. Wenger, age 79, of Wisconsin Rapids, went home to be with his heavenly Father on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.
Services will be at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Rev. Dr. Carlton Andersen will officiate. Burial will be at a later date at Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery at King. Visitation for relatives and friends will be from 3:00-9:00 P.M. on Tuesday, April 4 at Herman-Taylor Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids and from 10:00 A.M. until the time of services on Wednesday at the church.
Tim was born February 1, 1944 in Enshih, Hupeh, China to Gilbert and Elsie (Harms) Wenger, who were serving the area as missionaries.
Early in life, Pastor Tim felt called to share the good news of Jesus Christ as a Pastor. In the pursuit of this calling, he attended St. Paul’s High School and Junior College in Concordia, Missouri. His last two years of college were completed at Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After college he entered Concordia Seminary St. Louis and graduated in 1970. After completing the Master of Sacred Theology degree in Pastoral Counseling in 1971, he accepted the call from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids to serve as Associate Pastor. In 1974, he was called to the Senior Pastor position and served in this capacity at St. Luke’s until retirement. He was thankful he could be involved in continuing education in a variety of ways throughout his ministry. In 1997, he received the Doctor of Ministry degree. He was also thankful to be able to serve as a military chaplain in the Wisconsin National Guard for 27 years, retiring as a Lt. Colonel.
Tim was united in marriage to Kathleen Kuecker on September 6, 1969 in St. Louis, MO. The Lord blessed them in many ways including four children: Eric, Christopher, Elisa and Angela. They were additionally blessed with eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. He also enjoyed his faithful pup, F.E. Boudreau III (Buddy).
The Lord blessed Pastor Tim’s ministry and provided a faithful group of committed Christians, the congregation of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, who have a deep love for the Lord and a desire to be engaged in ministry. Pastor Tim felt privileged to minister with them in a variety of ways. After forty years he retired from full time ministry on August 31, 2011. In July of 2012, he returned to work as a Visitation Pastor and was serving in that capacity up to the day the Lord called him Home.
Tim was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. He loved going to Camp Luther, fishing and swimming. He was always one to take the “scenic route” on road trips with the family with a cooler full of sandwiches, stopping to read every historical sign along the highway. He loved his family deeply and enjoyed going to the grandkids’ sports and other activities. His love of people extended well beyond family. There wasn’t a place the family went, even sometimes across the country, where someone didn’t know Pastor Tim.
Tim is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; four children: Rev. Eric (Carrie) Wenger of Rome, WI, Christopher (Lisa) Wenger of Stoughton, WI, Elisa Smith (Brett Weeks) of Tomah, WI, and Angela (Wesley) Kann of Wisconsin Rapids; eight grandchildren: Morgan (Collin) Exner, Caleb Wenger, Katie Wenger, Afton (Brayden) Jacobs, Tallon Smith, Malachi Wenger, Talya Wenger, and Olivia Sturdevant; great granddaughter, Ellie Exner; one sister, Kathleen Lenz of Boonville, MO; one brother, Daniel (Gale) Wenger of Lorain, OH; and many other extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; sister Geraldine Wegener; and brother Mark Wenger.
The family would like to thank all the health care providers that have cared for Pastor Tim the past number of years, the parishioners of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church for all the love and support shown over Tim’s ministry, and the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department for their rapid response and care.
In lieu of flowers, Pastor Tim requested memorials to be designated to the LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces or to St. Luke’s Lutheran Preschool/4K.