September 28, 1936 ~ April 28, 2022

Born in: Saginaw, Michigan
Resided in: Carmel, Indiana

Richard (Dick) Wenzel, 85, passed away at his home on April 28, 2022. He was born on September 28, 1936, to Chester and Gertrude Wenzel in Saginaw, Michigan. His sister, Dixie A. Town preceded him in death. He graduated from Arthur Hill High School and attended Central Michigan University (CMU) to pursue a career in music education. From 1954-1958 at CMU, he played in the prestigious marching band and was elected president for one year. He was selected to be a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and served as president for one year. There he made lifelong friends he referred to as his ”TKE brothers.” Richard graduated in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in Music. At a CMU dance, he met the love of his life, Karen Thomsen. They became friends and dated throughout their college careers. On June 28, 1958, they married.

From 1958 to 1961 Richard was a band director at Rockford Schools in Rockford, Michigan where he built a very successful band program. In 1962-1966 he transitioned to elementary teaching and found his new educational path. As an elementary principal in Pennfield Schools, in Battle Creek, MI, from 1966 to 1980, he developed many programs and educational activities. During this time, he earned a master’s degree from Western Michigan University. From 1980 to 1982, he was an elementary principal at Farwell Schools in Farwell, Michigan. There he also developed many educational programs. He was well respected, developed many friendships, and was passionate about helping children and their families. From 1983 to 1999, he was in educational curriculum sales where he earned many awards.

He and Karen retired in Florida where they made many friends and welcomed vacationing family. There, he became a tour guide and educational director at Mixon Farms in Bradenton, FL. In 2016, Dick and Karen fully retired and returned to “The North” in Indiana to be close to their family.

Dick and Karen built a beautiful life of 64 years together. They have three daughters-Susan (Michael) Smith, Lori Wenzel, and Jennifer Martin. His daughters gave him five grandchildren – Jeremy (Jessica) Smith, Matthew (Megan) Smith, Katie (Jake) Lampen, Danielle Redkey, and Riley Choe. He was a beloved great grandpa to Jack and Max Smith, Sam Lampen and Sully Smith.

He loved his family and supported and watched his children’s and, later, his grandchildren’s activities. Later, he enjoyed family get-togethers. He was dearly loved by friends, colleagues, and students. One of his endearing qualities was he always had a story or a joke to tell. He loved to make people laugh and enjoy life. Many friends and family enjoyed spending time with him fishing, boating, camping, going to the beach, and playing cards.

He was God’s faithful servant and his life reflected it. He was a proud member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Remus, Michigan and St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Fishers, Indiana. There he volunteered his services as a Lector during mass and continued his work as a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Services will be held at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church in Fishers, Indiana. Visiting time will be at 1:00 pm in the Narthex of the church. Mass will begin at 2:00 p.m. on June 17th, 2022.

The funeral Mass will be live streamed on June 17, 2023. Please click the link to view the live stream:

Donations can be made in the remembrance of Dick to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital or St. Jude’s Research Hospital.


Visitation: June 17, 2022 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Saint Louis de Montfort Catholic Church
11441 Hague Road
Fishers, IN 46038

Memorial Service: June 17, 2022 2:00 pm

Saint Louis de Montfort Catholic Church
11441 Hague Road
Fishers, IN 46038

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  1. May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will be here to walk beside you in your journey of grief.

    Eddie Beagles and the staff of Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services

  2. Sorry to hear of Dick’s death. I enjoyed working with him during our many years.\
    Best wishes to Karen and the daughters.

  3. I remember Mr. Wenzel fondly as my principal at Purdy Elementary and from the neighborhood. I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. So sorry to hear about Dick’s passing. He was loved by all. He was my first principal when I started teaching. He was such a great guy, always the life of the party. I remember one Thanksgiving our fourth grade teacher Mavis Price was doing the bulletin board in our rotunda. She made a big turkey and for the tail feathers she asked Karen to bring Dicks old ties. She did and Mavis cut them and made lovely tail feathers. We all stood admiring the finished board and Dick came to see it. It didn’t take him long to realize those were his ties. We all had a great laugh over that.

  5. I love my Dad so much. He leaves us with beautiful memories and I will miss him every day. I know heaven awaits and look forward to sharing the Kingdom of Heaven with him.

  6. I have many wonderful memories of Dick and his lovely family. I can still hear his laughter in my ears. Dick was the brother to my father that my dad never had even tho they were 1st cousins. Dick you are greatly loved and will be greatly missed. All my love,prayers and hugs to your family.

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