Rex E. Wentzel, 88, of Sioux City, Iowa, passed away on December 6, 2022. Rex was born on September 26, 1934, in Hartford, Wisconsin, to Robert E. Wentzel and Elnore Leila Wentzel (McLaughlin). He received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1959 and went on to pastor Presbyterian churches in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska. He was married to Carol Irene Lucas for 53 years until her death in 2008. He is survived by his brothers Jay Wentzel of Arizona and Jon Wentzel of Wisconsin, with whom he maintained a close relationship throughout his life; his three children, Rex Bradley Wentzel (Dianne), Rebecca Spadafora, and Kimberly Strom (Jeff); his nine grandchildren, Conrad, Sofia, Derek, Luca, Ugo, Carson, Harrison, Olivia and Sam; his four great-grandchildren, Kailani, Jacque, Everly and Braxton; and niece and nephews Kelly, Greg and Jeff. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Carol, his sister-in-law Kathy and nephews Mark and Dan.
Rex was a man of deep thought, keen observation, wry humor, kind gestures and simple habits. He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a loyal friend. He gave generously to a number of causes, including the Sioux City Gospel Mission and Food Bank. Supporting disadvantaged peoples in developing countries through the gift of livestock – particularly chickens – purchased through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, became a favorite cause of his in later years, earning him the honorary title of the Chicken Man. In 2019 this effort was acknowledged with an event called “The Feeding of the 500,000” held at the First Presbyterian Church of South Sioux City. When not baking muffins to give away, canning produce from his garden or cheering on the Packers, Rex was writing: Sermons, verses that ranged from frolicking limericks to deep meditations on life and faith, and well over a dozen short books on a wide variety of topics that reflected his faith and down-to-earth values. He shared these writings regularly with a wide circle of friends and family. Rex touched innumerable lives in his quiet, understated way, and though he will be missed sorely, his legacy of loving service will bear fruit for generations to come.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, December 12 at 10 am at the First Presbyterian Church of South Sioux City, Nebraska. A luncheon will be hosted at the church immediately after the service. Interment will follow at a later date.
Send memorials to His family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to the charities he was involved with.
Condolences can be sent to: Kim Strom, 25542 Main St., Sioux City, IA, 51108
Rexwinkle Funeral Home, LeMars, Iowa, is in charge of arrangements.