JESSIE LORRAINE WENZEL was born September 10, 1930 in Luverne, Minnesota to John and Della (Lewis) Ellefson. She was baptized and later confirmed at the Rose Dell Lutheran Country Church east of Jasper, Minnesota. She attended country school through the 8th grade. On June 30, 1948 Jessie was united in marriage to Arnold “Bud” Wenzel at her home church, the Rose Dell Lutheran. The couple moved in December of that same year to the farm where they lived all their married life together and raised their four children. In addition to her farm work life, Jessie cleaned homes for several people. She also worked as a cook at the Blue Mound Inn in Luverne, the Calumet Hotel in Pipestone, Minnesota, the Mary Jane Brown Nursing Home in Luverne, and lastly at the Luverne Community Hospital, as a dietary aide. She retired from the hospital in July of 1999. Bud preceded her in death on November 28, 2015 after 66 ½ years of marriage. Jessie later became a resident of Poplar Creek Assisted Living in Luverne. On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, Jessie died peacefully at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage at the age of 91 years, 5 months, and 6 days.
Jessie was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Hardwick, Minnesota where she was involved in the L.W.M.L., Ladies Circle, and the Zion Quilting Group. Jessie enjoyed helping others in need and doing mission work for Zion Lutheran. An important part of that mission to her was encouraging the faith journey of those around her, particularly the younger generation. She was very proud to see members of the church growing in their faith and developing their relationship with Christ. She did quilting work for both missions and her family and truly loved serving her family. From baking to helping move, Jessie was always ready to lend a hand. She is remembered for having a great sense of humor and a wonderful partnership with her husband Bud. The two made an excellent team, working together at the church and catering. Jessie was very organized and motivated to get things done but made sure people paused to enjoy the little things, as long as they weren’t whispering.
Jessie is survived by her four children, Dean (Linda) Wenzel of Luverne, Richard (Deb) Wenzel of Garretson, South Dakota, Patricia (David) Swenson of Beaver Creek, Minnesota, and Paulette (Randy) Richters of Luverne; seven grandchildren, Robert (Bronwyn) Wenzel, Joseph (Randi) Wenzel, Jennifer (Don) Luitjens, Dustin (Kayla) Richters, Devin (Liz) Richters, Dylan (Brenna) Richters, and Jessica Richters (special friend, Zach Briggs); nine great-grandchildren, Mason and Madilyn Wenzel, Elle and Eli Richters, Jaxon and Xander Richters, Kyia and Riley Wenzel, Sawyer Richters; and other family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold “Bud” Wenzel; son, Robert James Wenzel; parents, John and Della Ellefson; four sisters, Mattie Peterson, Ruby Dibbern, Darlene Ruud, and infant sister LaVon Ellefson; and parents-in-law, Karl and Frieda Wenzel.
Memorials may be directed to McCrossan Boys Ranch, Zion Quilters, or Sanford Luverne Hospice.