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Carolyn Wenger

Carolyn C. Wenger (Charles)

Monday, December 27th, 1943 - Monday, April 27th, 2020
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Carolyn Landis (Charles) Wenger, 76, of Ephrata, passed from this life on Monday, April 27, 2020, at Fairmount Homes.

She was born in Lancaster to the late Hiram Mowrer Charles and Anna Denlinger (Landis) Charles.

She is survived by a brother, Benjamin Landis, husband of Lisa (Dove) Charles of Linville, VA; a brother-in-law, Phillip A. King of Chickasaw, AL; one niece and a grandniece.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Clayton Wenger; her parents and two sisters, Dorothy Ann Charles and Judy Landis (Charles) King.

She graduated from Hempfield Union High School, Landisville, PA; Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, VA, with a BA in English; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, with a MA in English. She also attended seminars on historical publications, administration of historical agencies and museums and 18th century German-script handwriting. She was a member of the East Petersburg Mennonite Church.

She founded Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage magazine and served as director of the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society from 1976 to 2001, when she officially retired but continued to work there in a volunteer capacity as archivist, museum curator and editor. She was a member of numerous professional organizations in the areas of archival and museum work.

Also, she was involved in churchwide and regional historical organizations such as Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church for 20 years; Pennsylvania German Society for 30 years; Eastern Mennonite Associated Libraries and Archives; Allegheny Mennonite Historical Association; Historical Society of Cocalico Valley; East Petersburg Historical Society and Grave Concern.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family at Cedar hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Carolyn's memory may be made to Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Inc., Ephrata.
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Service Details

  • Service

    To be determined at a later date
    to be determined at a later date
    TBA, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Cedar Hill Cemetery
    531 North State Street
    Ephrata, PA
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.


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Suzanne Fisher

Posted at 04:13pm
On behalf of the Ephrata Cloister Associates and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, we extend our sympathy to Carolyn's family. We appreciated her generosity over the years, and because of her kindness and her passionate work for historic preservation, the Ephrata Cloister has been able to continue to educate our visitors and preserve our region's unique heritage. She and her family made a difference, and we are all the better because of it.
With sincere sympathy,
Suzanne Fisher
Ephrata Cloister Associates Board of Directors

David Sauder

Posted at 10:51am
David Sauder

Carolyn Wenger was a wonderful gift to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, to the many historians who met her, and to the Mennonite Church. She gave herself totally to the mission of LMHS, and at the same time cultivated warm and supportive relationships with her colleagues, and all people who knew her and came to her for advice and counsel. I had the privilege of working with her for nearly ten years. I, and many others will greatly miss her.

Verna Colliver

Posted at 01:37pm
I feel deeply the loss of a former colleague and friend. For a short time we taught together on the faculty at Lancaster Mennonite High School. I remember her also for her faithful role in curating and preserviing Mennonite and Anabaptist history.
Verna Mohler Colliver

Julia Hartzler Alleman

Posted at 11:12am
To Carolyn's family.
Carolyn was my college roommate in 1963-64 at EMC. I enjoyed her infectious giggle, her late night chats and the time or two that I visited her home in East Petersburg. Her mother fixed "Dutch Goose", or pigs stomach, which I had not had but found to be more tasty than I had expected! I think that was the only time, though!

I appreciated her visits the few times she came to our 1965 class reunions at EMU and was glad to see her at the 5th Sunday Hymn Sings on occasion at Stumptown Mennonite Church, Lancaster.

Julia Hartzler Alleman

Arli Klassen

Posted at 09:25am
Carolyn knew Anabaptist history, and she followed Mennonite World Conference very closely. As a staff person at MWC when I needed to better understand some historical or even current relationship, I knew I could always get her opinion and advice. I valued not only her historical knowledge, but her wisdom in how to approach life issues. Her gentleness shone through. She was a role model for me and for many.

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