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Ronald Wenger, PhD  

Ronald Wenger, PhD
“Ron”

November 30, 1937 – January 1, 2014

Dr. Ronald Wenger, of Newark, DE passed away peacefully at home on New Year’s Day, 2014 at the age of 76.

He was born in Trotwood, OH, on November 30, 1937, and was the only son of the late Luella and Emmert Wenger. Ron earned his Bachelor’s degree at Miami University in Oxford, OH and his PhD in mathematics from Michigan State University. He joined the University of Delaware as an assistant math professor in 1965. He served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Science from 1971 until 1994. In 1980, he created the Mathematical Sciences Teaching and Learning Center to help enhance the teaching and learning of mathematics through collaboration with teachers throughout the state of Delaware and it still operates today. He retired from the University of DE after 40 ½ years in 2005.

Ron was a loving and active husband, father, and grandfather who enjoyed attending baseball, soccer, and basketball games. He helped instill the love of travel in his family, as he and Sherry traveled the world together visiting nearly 20 countries. Prior to his ALS diagnosis, he was an avid tennis player and classic guitar student. He will fondly be remembered for his giving spirit, as he was a longtime volunteer with Meals on Wheels and Delaware Hospice. Ron had a contagious sense of humor and he faced his illness with grace and courage.

The family would like to extend their thanks to the ALS Association Philadelphia Chapter, Dr. McClusky and his staff at the University of Pennsylvania, Delaware Hospice, Laurie’s Hands, and the University of Delaware’s Physical Therapy students who helped him maintatin his good spirits and independence, as well as the many friends and students who came to visit him.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sherry Wenger; son, Brad and wife Julie and their 2 children, Andrew and Sophia, of Newark; daughter, Kelly and husband Eric, and their 2 sons, Finnegan and Copeland; and 2 sisters, Deanna Davis (Phil) of Largo, FL and Paula Linehan of Columbus, OH.

Friends are invited to call from 5 pm until 7 pm on Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 W. Park Place, Newark, DE. A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Thursday, January 9, 2014, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, 420 Willa Road, Newark, DE. Interment will be held at a later date in the Head of Christiana Cemetery, Newark, DE.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Ron’s name be sent to the ALS Association, 321 Norristown Road, Ste. 260, Ambler, PA 19002 or to Delaware Hospice 16 Polly Drummond Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, DE 19711.

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Guestbook

  1. Rachael Coffey, January 4, 2014

    Dear Sherry,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May your memories keep his love alive in your heart.

    Reply
  2. Becky and Bob Varlas, January 4, 2014

    Sherry,
    We were so sad to hear this news. You and Ron are in our thoughts.

    Bob and Becky Varlas

    Reply
  3. Jim Everett, January 5, 2014

    Sherry,

    Ron was always the most delightful person to be around. I enjoyed playing tennis with him on many occassions. We frequently discussed our mutual Anguilla visits from the past. He will be sorely missed by all of us.

    Reply
  4. Wendy Biggs, January 5, 2014

    Dear Sherry – Bob and I were so saddened to hear about Ron’s passing. you might remember me from so long ago- we want to send you our condolences. Wendy & Bob Biggs

    Reply
  5. Mary Maslar, January 5, 2014

    I was very saddened to hear of Dr. Wenger’s passing. I had him as a Calc professor back in 1970 and I was always amazed how he could make Calc come alive to a humanities major! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Reply
  6. Susan and Paul Arruda, January 5, 2014

    Sherry: We were saddened to hear about Ron. We’ll always remember our trip to China with you and other UD people, and how interesting it was talking to him (and you) and how well-travelled you were! Susan and Paul Arruda

    Reply
  7. John Newlin, January 6, 2014

    Dear Sherry,

    I am so sorry to learn of Ron’s death. He and I enjoyed many wonderful tennis games at old Hercules. He was a guy of wonderful, good humor—always a pleasure to play. I am sure that wonderful outlook on life was one of his great hallmarks, and just one of the things that you will miss about him.

    Much love,

    John Newlin

    Reply
  8. Dian Rogers, January 6, 2014

    Sherry, I remember whenever Ron was around there was always laughter! He seemed to have such a good outlook on everything. I am sorry that we never got to see him more often and I am truly sorry for your loss. One of Ron’s many Ohio cousins- Dian Rogers

    Reply
  9. Robert Benson, January 6, 2014

    Sherry,
    I feel sadden for your loss. And I will, also, miss Ron especially his sense of humor, which I enjoyed.

    Reply
  10. Jane and David Waterman, January 6, 2014

    Sherry,

    We were so sorry to hear that Ron had passed away, and send our deepest sympathy to you and all your family at this time of great loss. We greatly admired the courageous way Ron dealt with his devastating illness, and you are in our thoughts at this sad time.

    Reply
  11. Louis Rossi, January 6, 2014

    Dear Sherry,

    Tammy and I were very sorry for your loss. We will remember how kind and welcoming Ron was to the whole family shortly after we arrived. He was a pleasure to work with as a colleague and to collaborate with as an expert on homemade ice cream. Just a few weeks ago, we had a nice chat about trends in education and then he shared a secret with me about a great place to get ice. I will think of Ron often and smile.

    Lou Rossi

    Reply
  12. Steven "Doc" LeShay, January 8, 2014

    Dear Sherry, family and friends of Ron:

    I only had the pleasure of knowing Ron for a short time when we played tennis last year 1-1/2 hours a week at the Elkton Indoor Tennis Club. He had a powerful forehand and tremendous volley, often not letting the ball hit the court but instead smashing it back in mid-air at twice the speed. I always preferred having him as my partner rather than my opponent! Most importantly though, during our short friendship, he always was a gentleman both on the court and afterwards, and I really enjoyed his company. He will be sorely missed by many, I’m sure. My sincerest condolences to you all.

    Reply
  13. Sandy McKay, January 8, 2014

    Dear Sherry ~

    I was so very sorry to learn of your loss and extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I know Ron will be greatly missed.

    Love,
    Sandy

    Reply
  14. Jan Parsons, January 8, 2014

    Ron was a “gentle” man who mentored me and pushed me to work with teachers around the state to improve math instruction. He knew my strengths when I didn’t . He also was gracious in his compliments. Any advice from Ron was taken gladly. I know his retirement life was cut short, but he made a difference to many of us who knew him during his work life.

    God Bless each of you as you mourn this wonderful, loving guy.

    Jan Parsons, Bethany Beach, and MSERC

    Reply
  15. Peter Rees, January 10, 2014

    Dear Sherry,

    I am on study abroad right now so it was a few days before I heard the sad news. Ron was very welcoming when I joined the Arts and Science Dean’s Office as Associate Dean in 1979, indeed I suspect he had much to do with my appointment. He was a gracious colleague and highly supportive as I learned the ropes. I already knew of his reputation as an educational innovator and it was a true pleasure to work with him on the many projects, large and small, that we jointly confronted. I have only the fondest of memories of Ron and deeply regret his passing. Joan joins me in sending condolences to you and your family.

    Peter

    Reply
  16. Paula Riesenberg Wetherill, January 12, 2014

    Dear Sherry, Brad, Kelly, Paula, & Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Ron personally well, but from the time I was Paula’s roommate at OSU, I heard loving stories of him and enjoyed the few times I actually met him in person. I know he meant the world to Paula, and through her, I felt the love of a brother I never had. My thoughts & prayers are with you and your family. Paula Riesenberg Wetherill

    Reply
  17. Wendy Jo Weaver Kwiatkowski, January 13, 2014

    Dear Mrs. Wenger and Kelly,
    I was so sad to hear from my sister that Mr. Wenger passed away. I am sorry I didn’t know sooner as i would have liked to come to the service. I remember Mr. Wenger video taped our meets and he also helped make a pancake breakfast for about 10 of us Del Stars the morning of Kelly’s birthday sleep over. Pauline Dargis won the pancake eating contest with eating I think eating 8! Please know that you are all in my prayers as you grieve this loss. May God keep you close and give you peace.
    In His grip,
    Wendy

    Reply
  18. David & Diana Guinnup, January 13, 2014

    Our sincere condolences. You and Ron are inspirations to us. We will treasurer our memories of Ron, and you and Ron together.

    Reply

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