A mighty oak has fallen in Hunt County. Ron Wensel passed away at nine-fifteen today. Ron was considered Mr. Volunteer and Mr. Board Member. Ron, 81, was recently diagnosed with advanced-stage brain cancer that is deemed to be terminal. Oklahoma humorist, Will Rogers, said, “don’t take life so seriously, you will never get out of it alive.” Ron kept that philosophy and winning smile throughout his battle.
Ron served on the boards of United Way of Hunt County, the Hunt County Animal Shelter, the Hunt Memorial Hospital District Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Friends of Main Street, the Boys and Girls Club, the Greenville Follies, and served as CEO of Henington School Services in Wolfe City.
Wensel, a Wolfe City resident, also served 19 years as the city’s mayor and was previously named as “Outstanding Citizen of the Decade” by the Wolfe City Chamber of Commerce.
Ron and Julia became Hunt Countians when they moved to Wolfe City in 1974, after living in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Julia’s father, C.K. “Doc” Henington, owned a publishing and photography business back in Wolfe City; he’d founded it in 1929 and expanded to publishing yearbooks in 1948”, Julia says. Mr. Henington passed in 1972, so Ron rushed to lend a hand in his absence and soon was running Henington Publishing.
In 1974 he was elected Mayor of Wolfe City, Texas. It would be an opportune decision for the small town’s residents; Mayor Wensel set his mind to helping plan for a booming future for Wolfe City, according to his family and former co-workers there.
Ron was the first city administrator in the little hamlet to apply for and win state and federal matching grants for infrastructure expansion. When he took over the reins of the mayor, the city did not have enough funds to pay employees. At the end of his term, the town had nearly $100,000 in reserves.
Ron believed that the most important work he has been involved with is that of Alzheimer’s sufferers and those working for a cure. Remember for Me is just one group involved with this dread disease.
Many of Ron’s business friends and customers have emailed, sent letters, commented on the family’s Facebook page, and called with words of tribute and gratitude.
Ron was a friend to all when a friend was needed. Golfing buddy and fellow philanthropist and civic leader Terry Thomas worked with Ron for 25 years on the American Cancer Society golf tournament fundraiser. “I have never met another individual in my entire life who is so giving of his talent and time,” Thomas told the Herald-Banner in an interview last week. “Ron is always there no matter the cause, always caring about others before himself. No single person has done more for Greenville, Wolfe City, Hunt County and the state of Texas than Ron.”, said Thomas.
Ron Wensel will be missed. Hunt County News will announce the time and place of Ron’s Celebration of Life. Ron will be missed.