James Michael Wenzl, 54, of Sterling, passed away Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at his home in Sterling, Nebraska. Jim was born to Robert and Ruth (Conradt) Wenzl on August 31, 1965 in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was baptized at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church and later confirmed at St. John’s Catholic Church in Lincoln, Nebraska where he attended grade school and middle school. Jim graduated from Pius X High School in 1983. He took his basic training for the U.S. Army in 1983 as 13 Bravo cannoneer and then went to Babenhausen, Germany to the 2nd Battalion 83rd field armory and volunteered for 76 Yankee Unit Armor. Jim ended his military career with the rank of Specialist 4th Class and decorated with six awards. Jim continued his education receiving an Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology from Southeast Community College.
He was married to Paula Bigley in 1990 in Lincoln, Nebraska and added her two sons Charles and Josh McDougall to his family. They also had two sons, Jacob and Mark. Jim and Paula were later divorced in 1999.
Jim was united in marriage to Michelle Rathe on June 23, 2008 in Tecumseh, Nebraska. He accepted her children, Sarah and Zachary to his family. Jim and Michelle made their home in Sterling where they raised their family.
Jim worked from 1989-2005 at Apollo Steel/ Judd Brothers as an ironworker. He then worked for Topps Mechanical in Tecumseh from 2006-2011, when he started with the Burlington Northern Railroad’s Havelock Shop as a carman and a welder. He worked for the railroad until his retirement in 2019 due to health reasons.
In his spare time, Jim enjoyed hunting, woodworking, remodeling and spending time with family and friends, while giving back to the Sterling community. Jim served as commander of the Sterling American Legion Post #140 for eight years. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Mary, Nebraska.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Michelle of Sterling, parents, Robert and Ruth Wenzl of Lincoln, son Jacob M. Wenzl and wife Tara of Ft. Benning, GA, grandchildren, Robert and Huntley Wenzl, brothers, Greg Wenzl and wife Kay of Lincoln and Eric Wenzl of Lincoln, step-children, Sarah (Scamehorn) Hart and husband Erik of St. Louis, MO, Zachary Scamehorn of Lincoln, Charles McDougall and wife Pam of Seward and Josh McDougall of Lincoln and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jim was preceded in death by his son Mark A. Wenzl and his maternal and paternal grandparents.
Mass of Christian Burial Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 23, 2020 at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in St. Mary, Nebraska with Father Craig Clinch officiating. The service was Facebook live streamed on the Wherry Mortuary/Wherry Monument Facebook page and there is also a link to the video on the funeral home website.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 22, 2020 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska. Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, St. Mary, Nebraska.
Military rites will be conducted by the Sterling American Legion Post #140 and the National Guard Funeral Honors Team.
Inurnment will be in the Sterling Cemetery, Sterling, Nebraska at a later date.
Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.
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