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September 10, 2004 2:47 PM CDT

In Memoriam: Al Wendt


Al Wendt, Owner of Albert Wendt Construction Company, died of pancreatic cancer at his St. Charles, Ill., home on August 1st. He was 70.

Mr. Wendt was born October 9, 1933, in Elmhurst, Ill. His family moved to Germany in 1938 ? one year before the outbreak of World War II ? and were trapped for the seven-year duration of the war. After the end of the war, Mr. Wendt's sister, Florence "Toni" Prisk, returned to the U.S. to earn money to bring her family back home.

Upon returning in 1948, Mr. Wendt attended and graduated from York High School, where he was President of his senior class. He then received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1955.

Mr. Wendt also served as a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force. His love of flying became a lifelong passion, and he later owned a four-seat Piper Comanche that he and his family used to travel the country.

After working for an engineering firm in Pittsburgh, Mr. Wendt returned to Glen Ellyn, Ill., to help with his father's small masonry company in 1960. Taking over the business in 1969, Mr. Wendt led the company from a one-wheelbarrow, residential firm to the large commercial masonry contracting business that it is today. Mr. Wendt was pleased that the company will continue with a third generation of Wendts ? son, Larry, and daughter, Sherry ? at the helm. The company will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

Mr. Wendt was active in many industry and community organizations, including the Mason Contractors Association of America, the Mason Contractors Association of Greater Chicago, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Windings Homeowners' Association, and the Fox Valley Unity Church in Batavia. He also served on the board of the Mason & Plasterers Pension Fund Local 56.

His family and friends describe him as a man with great intelligence, joy of life, a good sense of humor, and a belief in treating everyone with respect.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Carolyn, who died of Alzheimer's in 1998. Mr. Wendt is survived by his wife, sister, son, daughter, two stepsons, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services were held August 5th at Yurs Funeral Home in St. Charles, with a private burial at Glen Oak Cemetery, Hillside.

Contributions may be made to: Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders, Chicago Area Chapter, 4709 Golf Road, Suite 1015, Skokie, IL 60076; or Humanitarian Service Project, 1425 S. Neltnor Blvd., West Chicago, IL 60185, where Albert Wendt Construction Co. has sponsored needy senior citizens for many years.

MCAA sends its deepest condolences to the Wendt family.

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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