Hundreds attend Wennhold memorial |

Hundreds attend Wennhold memorial

by Sheila Gardner

The day Connie Wennhold died, her family found a note she had written on a memo board on the refrigerator:

“Fear of the Lord leads to life: We do not know people’s hearts, only God does. The Lord looks at people’s hearts. He judges us by our faith and character. Do not look in the mirror … Look to God.”

Wennhold’s faith and her love for her family and community were celebrated Friday at a memorial service at Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville attended by 650 people.

The service began just a few minutes after 2:30 p.m., which marked the hour Wennhold and her husband George were married 22 years ago to the day.

“Twenty-two years ago today, at this hour, Connie and George were smiling. This is the day they bonded themselves in marriage,” said Pastor Pete Nelson.

“We are invited to bond Connie at this hour to a different marriage. She is bonded to our Lord. We wish she were here with George, but there is no better place for her.”

Wennhold died March 14 at her Ruhenstroth home. She was 50.

She was eulogized Friday as an advocate for children as a member of the Douglas County School Board and a woman of faith in her love of God that she handed down to her husband and sons Adam and Aaron.

“Every Saturday morning Connie came here to pray for the school’s administrators and teachers and students. Every Sunday morning, she and George came here to worship,” Nelson said.

Nelson encouraged the congregation to remind Wennhold’s sons “of the blessings of Mom. No one is more precious in our lives than Mom.”

George Wennhold spoke briefly about “the hundreds, if not thousands of selfless, unexpected and anonymous acts of love” since his wife died.

“In my lifetime, I will never be able to repay your love,” he said.

Kathy Beil Robinson of Kirkland, Wash., talked about her friendship with Wennhold that began when they were 4. That duo grew to include about a dozen girls who grew up together and continued with “girls’ nights out” after they reached adulthood.

“We were instant best friends,” Robinson said.

Several of the friends attended the service, complete with Groucho Marx glasses that were a trademark of Wennhold’s mischievous side.

“Her infectious laugh, her welcoming personality and take-charge attitude. She was one you really wanted to be with,” Robinson said. “She gave herself for what she believed in. Life was just plain more exciting with Connie.”

Robinson said although she believed Wennhold was in a better place, it was painful to lose her.

“The center of Connie’s life was her faith in God. I am certain she is with the Lord. Selfishly, though, not having her here is painful and overwhelming. I loved you and I am a better person for having had you in my life,” she said.

Former school Superintendent John Soderman called Wennhold a great teacher and one of the people who inspired him the most.

“As I thought about her passing, I reflected on the lessons she taught us,” he said. “I started with her being a person of faith and a person who loved her family. She was a patriot. She taught us lessons about being a friend and about community service.

“And I appreciated her laugh,” he said. “Every thought of her I have has her laugh in it.”