Today has been a sad day. Today we celebrated the life life of Michael William Wenger, whose life was cut short Monday evening when his ultralight airplane crashed in a field. Left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife, Pam; his sons, Justin, Matt, and Will; his parents, Bonnie and Bill; three brothers; two sisters; his maternal grandmother; and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Mike was a heck of a guy. I wasn’t lucky enough to know him as well as so many others did, but in the short time I did know him, he always seemed larger than life. Full of life. He loved life, he loved his family, and he died doing something he loved.
Mike always seemed to be smiling or laughing or giving someone a hard time, something which seems to be a family trait (and that’s okay – it’s the same in my family). As we were gathered at the cemetery, a group of local pilots flew over in tribute to their departed friend. A moment of silence followed, broken only by the sound of the canopy poles creaking in the breeze. “Clearly this tent was not built by Mike,” someone said behind me. “Aw, that’s probably him kicking it,” someone else said, and before I knew it, people were laughing because they could just imagine Mike shaking the poles supporting the canopy, a big toothy grin plastered on his face. I imagine now he’s giving the angels a hard time. Or maybe he’s helping my dad give St. Peter a hard time. Either way, I’m sure he’s still smiling.
Rest in peace, Mike. We’ll all miss you.
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