Elaine Wendt (Schoenoff)

Elaine Wendt (Schoenoff) passed away surrounded by family on Friday, Dec. 29 at the age of 94. Elaine was born on April 17, 1929 in Fond du Lac, Wis. She met the love of her life, Robert F. Wendt, at Calvary Lutheran Chapel in Madison, Wis. 

Elaine was a passionate woman who lived her life with joy and vivacity. She was a storyteller, an artist, and an adventurer, traveling from coast to coast and back again. Elaine had a way with words, spending time weaving poems and detailing the stories and history of her ancestors. A lifelong learner, no task was too great for Elaine. She approached life and challenges with vigor from learning how to sail, designing her dream home, and visiting the Matterhorn in Switzerland. When she wasn’t adventuring far-afield, she was busy finding adventures at home. With an innate ability to see the beauty in the world around her, Elaine delighted in the tapestry of the world. In true Elaine fashion, she strove to share this beauty with others, often pointing out plants and animals, collecting pretty stones, and decorating her home with bunches of wildflowers.

Of all the great passions in her life, children came first. Elaine was the proud mother of five children who she loved dearly. For many years, she dedicated her efforts toward the children in her community as well by teaching head start, confirmation, and Sunday school, and serving as the first female school board member in Minocqua. Elaine found deep joy in the presence of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and followed their challenges and successes with pride and unconditional love. 

Elaine cultivated deep roots. Under her watchful eye, her gardens thrived and with her generous heart her community thrived. A charter member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua, she spent countless hours volunteering and developing her church community. She volunteered at the Howard Young Hospital for over 25 years and joined every committee and group she could find time for. 

Elaine’s legacy is far-reaching. After opening her heart and home to others throughout the years, she has inspired generations of others to do the same. A teacher to the end, she showed others how to live life to its fullest, even in the quiet moments, and how to love unconditionally.

Elaine’s legacy continues through her children: Michael Wendt (Carolyn Binford), Laurie Pinkert, Craig Wendt (Pat Wendt), Dan Wendt (Chris Wendt), and Cathy Schmit (David Schmit). She is further survived by 14 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by Robert (Bob), her husband of 57 years and her grandson, Daniel James Wendt.

Visitation will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 at Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua, Wis., followed by her Celebration of Life service at 11 a.m. A gathering and luncheon will follow the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Ascension Lutheran Church.  Bolger Cremation & Funeral Services is assisting the family, www.bolgerfuneral.com to share condolences.

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