Wendell Lewis Ryder, 95, of Dubuque passed away Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Hawkeye Care Center. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 pm Sunday at the Egelhof, Siegert and Casper Westview Funeral Home and Crematory, 2659 Kennedy Road. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Grand View United Methodist Church where visitation will also be held Monday from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery where military rites will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League.
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Wendell was born June 27, 1923 at home in Berkshire County, Ohio. He grew up with his three siblings on a farm near Sunbury, Ohio.
He graduated from Centerville High School in 1941. He began attending Ohio State University, but the advent of World War II soon caused him to enlist in the army.
He served as a combat medic in the Philippine Islands. Only three of 28 medics assigned to his unit survived the war.
When the atom bomb was dropped on Japan, the plans that would have sent his division to Japan ended. Wendell did serve in South Korea as occupation forces while the Japanese were sent home.
Upon returning home, he resumed his college studies. After graduation, he accepted a position as 4H Club Extension director in Medina County, Ohio. It was while there he met his future wife, Mary Catherine Newberry.
He next worked as a sale representative for Ralston-Purina Company while assigned to Michigan.
Wendell and Mary where married in 1952 in Medina, Ohio. They lived in Albion, Michigan for 18 years. There they were blessed to begin raising their family.
While there, Wendell returned to school at Michigan State University, receiving a master’s degree in livestock studies.
In 1970, the family moved to Dubuque where Wendell became an Area Livestock Specialist for Iowa State Universlity.
When their children were of elementary school age, they began taking frequent camping trips in a 17- foot trailer. There were lots of western trips to remember and also trips to Canada. One summer in the 1960’s, they took an eight-week trip to the West, first picking up the two older sons at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
Wendell and Mary retired in 1989 and continued to travel with a succession of fifth wheel trailers, wintering in Florida and Arizona. They also enjoyed travel to overseas destinations.
Wendell was an active member of Grand View United Methodist Church and a member of Rotary Club of Dubuque.
Left to celebrate his life are his wife of 66 years, Mary Ryder, children, Jordan Andrew Ryder of Eugene, Ore., Jeffry William (Sharon) Ryder of Bettendorf, Iowa, David Alan (Sharon) Ryder of Asbury, Iowa, and Mary Elizabeth (Stan) Kraemer of Burley, Idaho; grandchildren, Cheryl Byrnes, Matthew Ryder, Stacey Davis, Pete Davis, Jennifer Ryder and Emma Ryder, and a great grandchild, Ryder Thomas Byrnes.
He is also survived by a sister in law Beverly Ryder of Westerville, Ohio as well as many nieces and nephews in Ohio and Colorado.
Wendell was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Gordon, Buelah, and Carlton.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Hawkeye Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque for their compassion and care.