Marvin “Bill” Wenger, 88, owner of Wenger Oil, Inc., died Sunday, June 21, 2015. Burial will take place at Greenwood Cemetery at 9am Thursday followed by a memorial service at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church at 10:30am. A meal will follow the service at the Church. Bill was born on April 6, 1927, in Moundridge, Kansas to Conrad and Anna (Becker) Wenger. He married Naomi Nichols on November 14, 1948. He is survived by his wife and four children: Steven Wenger of North Newton, Kansas; Joan Brubacher (Michael) of Scottsdale, Arizona; Melanie Wenger (David Flynn) of Annapolis, Maryland; and Denise Matthews (Harry) of Olathe, Kansas. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Jaimee Grisoni (Thomas), Lauren Brubacher, Kelsey Matthews, Justin Matthews and three great-grandchildren, Lucas, Gabriela, and Luciana Grisoni. Bill was one of ten children and is survived by three, Herby Wenger of Newton, Kansas and Ruby Smith and Della Schmidt, both of Montezuma, Kansas.
After marrying Naomi, the young couple lived in Hesston, Kansas and initially farmed a parcel of ground in western Kansas. Bill simultaneously worked for Hesston Corporation as a truck driver. In 1954, he accepted a job as an agent for Standard Oil Company of Indiana. He capitalized on that experience and bought the business from Standard Oil some 20 years later. That business, Wenger Oil, Inc., expanded with the purchase of the Standard Oil Farm Center at the corner of Highway 81 and Anderson Road, located next to the Wenger Oil office. In later years, the Company grew again with the acquisition of a second distributorship in Pratt, Kansas and the creation of a chain of convenience stores, the Wen’s One Corporation. During this time, Bill also personally accumulated various parcels of real estate located across Kansas and Missouri. Wenger Oil is still in existence today.
In addition to Bill’s professional life, he held seats on a number of boards and commissions, including the Kansas Oil Marketers Association and the Halstead Hospital. Bill was also a strong supporter of the Carriage Factory Art Gallery, along with Naomi, who was a Board member for many years and still serves in an ex officio capacity. Bill is a member of Trinity Heights United Methodist Church.
Bill’s business successes were attributed to a strong work ethic and business acumen. He understood the value of community and supported many local initiatives throughout his life. He also served as an example and mentor to a number of younger businessmen.
Bill’s first love was his wife and family. His second was his work. His family will remember him not only for the love and care he provided them, but also for his wonderful sense of humor, which he shared with his friends and business associates alike.
A visitation at Petersen’s Funeral home in Newton will take place Wednesday evening from 5:00 – 9:00 pm, with the family in attendance from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association and Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, in care of Petersen’s Funeral Home. Alzheimer’s Association donations may also be made online at alz.org.