OBITUARY: Naomi Martha Wenger

Naomi Martha (Nichols) Wenger, 91, died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.

Naomi was born on Oct. 23, 1930, in Fairview, Okla., to George and Susanna (Smith) Nichols. She married Marvin “Bill” Wenger on Nov. 14, 1948.

She is survived by her four children and three sons-in-law, Steven Wenger of North Newton, Joan Brubacher (Michael) of Scottsdale, Ariz., Melanie Wenger (David Flynn) of Annapolis, Md., and Denise Matthews (Harry) of Olathe. She also is survived by four grandchildren, Jaimee Grisoni (Thomas), Lauren Brennan (Shawn), Kelsey Matthews and Justin Matthews, and six great-grandchildren, Lucas Michael, Gabriela Susanne, Luciana Ines and Christian Nicholas Grisoni, and Jack Edward and Everly Naomi Brennan. Naomi was one of nine children and is survived by three, Galen Nichols of Fairview, Okla., June Jantz of Neodesha and Jack Nichols of Fairview, Okla.

After marrying Bill, the young couple lived in Hesston and initially farmed a parcel of ground in western Kansas. As a young bride and while living in Hesston, Naomi worked as an operator for the local telephone company. She became a full-time mother when her first child was born in 1952. Naomi’s first love was her family. She was a caring and loving mother and strong advocate for her children, including ensuring they would have every opportunity to pursue higher education and personal growth. Her family will remember her not only for the love and care she provided them, but also for her wisdom, philosophical viewpoints, and sense of humor, which she shared with everyone she met. She loved her sons-in-law and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren passionately.

She had a love of gardening, art and design. Reflecting her love of art, she was one of the founders and an original board member of the Carriage Factory Art Gallery in Newton, and served in an ex officio capacity until recently. She understood the value of community and supported many local initiatives throughout her life. She spent her later years continuing as the strong and independent woman that she was.

A private family visitation will be at Petersen Funeral Home in Newton. A private family graveside committal was at 1 p.m., Tuesday, at Greenwood Cemetery. Extended family is invited to join the children for the committal service. A public memorial service was at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church. Naomi was a member of Trinity Heights United Methodist Church. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Carriage Factory Art Gallery or Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, in care of Petersen’s Funeral Home.

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