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Welcome to the memorial page for

Wendal E. Taft

December 20, 1922 ~ November 11, 2017 (age 94)

Wendal E. Taft, 94, of Battle Creek passed away on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017 at Reflections Memory Care surrounded by his beloved family.  Wendal was born on December 20, 1922 in Battle Creek, Michigan, the son of Rolland and Gussie Taft.  Always a respected and hard worker, Wendal pedaled newspapers and worked at Kester’s Gas Station while still in school.  He graduated from Central High School in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1941.  Wendal married the love of his life, Jeanette J. Hand, on June 8, 1942 in Battle Creek.  They renewed their marriage vows on board a Norwegian Cruise Ship during a Caribbean cruise.  Together, and with their family, they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on June 8 of this year.  Wendal enlisted in the Army Air Corps on December 23, 1943 and was stationed at Chanute Field, Illinois.  Jeanette was able to join him while he was there.  Wendal then transferred to Miami Beach Florida where he prepared to serve in England during WWII as a Pfc repairing airplane engines for the 351st Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group.    Wendal was honorably discharged on December 19, 1945.  Wendal was a valued employee at Wilcox Rich, Eaton’s and the Kellogg Company, all in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Wendal retired as a millwright from the Kellogg Company in 1985 after 38 years of service.  Wendal and Jeanette owned and operated Taft’s A & W Root Beer Stand in Albion, Michigan while still working at Kellogg’s.  Wendal also served the Emmett Township Fire Department for 25 years, retiring as the last fireman to wear Helmet #1.  Wendal and Jeanette often spent winters in Las Vegas, Nevada and Ft. Myers, Florida, where they continued to make new friends.  Wendal was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.  He and Jeanette made sure his daughters had a good work ethic and were honest.  They also made sure all three daughters learned to play the accordion.  They forfeited other things to be sure the girls were able to own and show horses.  Wendal especially loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren.  In addition to his family, Wendal enjoyed fishing, boating, water skiing, mushroom hunting, singing (where he joined his father, Rolland, in the Barbershop Chorus in Battle Creek), and playing his guitar.  He especially enjoyed his Ford Tractor.  Wendal was truly a Jack of All Trades.  He helped Sally (Lou) and Carolyn build their houses from the ground up.  He could repair almost anything and was quick to lend a helping hand to those in need.  Wendal was a life member of the Masons and an Eastern Star member along with his wife, Jeanette.    He was also a member of the Kellogg 25-year club.  Wendal is survived by his wife, Jeanette; daughters Sally (Lou) Bishop of Athens, Michigan; Carolyn Heath of Dowling, Michigan and Brenda Hubbert of Battle Creek, Michigan.  He is also survived by granddaughters Donna (Todd) Anderson of Battle Creek, Denise (Art) Otarola of Colorado Springs, Colorado; grandsons Dorn Taft and Andrew Hubbert both of Battle Creek;  great grandchildren Austin Anderson and Kailee Anderson both of Battle Creek, Chase Hubbert and Christian Hubbert both of Battle Creek and Ariana Orarola and Aiden Otarola both of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Wendal is also survived by brothers Russell Taft of Battle Creek and Bill (Lois) Taft of Lansing, Michigan; sister Delores (John) Kenny of Mason, Michigan   brother-in-law Howard Jerome (Gloria) Hand Jr. of Bumpus Mills, Tennessee, many nieces, nephews, and great friends.  Wendal was preceded in death by his parents, Rolland and Gussie Taft; brothers James, Erwin and his infant twin brother, and Nelson, all of Battle Creek; sisters Maxine Groesbeck of Marshall, Michigan and Marian Young and Eleanor Stumpf of Battle Creek; and brother-in-law Kenneth Hand of Battle Creek.  Friends may call from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services, where a masonic service is scheduled at 5:00 p.m.    Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 20, 2017 at the funeral home with Pastor Don Mason of the First Congregational Church UCC in Union City, officiating, interment at Memorial Park Cemetery.   Memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Hospice Care or the Emmett Township Fire Department.  Condolences may be left for the family at www.henryfuneralhome.org 


 Service Information

Visitation
Sunday
November 19, 2017

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services
703 Capital Avenue SW
Battle Creek, MI 49015

Masonic Service
Sunday
November 19, 2017

5:00 PM
Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services
703 Capital Avenue SW
Battle Creek, MI 49015

Funeral Service
Monday
November 20, 2017

11:00 AM
Richard A. Henry Funeral Home & Cremation Services
703 Capital Avenue SW
Battle Creek, MI 49015


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