Richard Emile Wenger 1938-2023

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Richard Emile Wenger 1938-2023

Richard Emile Wenger peacefully passed away on Jan. 19, 2023 at the age of 84.

Richard was born on Sept. 26, 1938, in Dillon, Montana, to Jules and Leonne (Foussard) Wenger. He was the youngest of four children with one older brother, Bernard, and two older sisters, Peggy and Yvonne.

Richard was raised in Dillon, where he attended his primary education before graduating from Beaverhead County High School in 1956. Following high school, he attended Western Montana College for one year before joining the United States Army at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Richard served three years in the United States Army before being honorably discharged in 1960.

After being discharged from the Army, Richard attended Carroll College in Helena from 1960 to 1964 earning a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. While attending Carroll College, Richard enjoyed student activities such as the Carroll College Ski Club. In 1964, Richard returned to Western Montana College earning a certificate in Education.

Richard was introduced to his wife Rosemary Rieber in 1966. Richard and Rosemary were married on June 17, 1967 at St. Rose Church in Dillon. Richard and Rosemary moved to Hamilton where Richard was employed as a school teacher. In 1969, Richard and Rosemary moved to Ennis. While in Ennis, Richard was an educator at Ennis High School for eight years teaching English and served as the librarian during the school year and worked for the Forest Service in the summertime.

In 1977, Richard and Rosemary moved to Bozeman to create opportunities for their three young children Nancy, Michael and Ross. While living in Bozeman, Richard worked in sales and was a member of the Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus.

In 1990, Richard was hired by the State of Montana Department of Transportation where he worked as a Right-of-Way Agent in both Helena and Billings. As part of his job, Richard and Rosemary moved to Billings in 1992. Richard retired in 2001 while living in Billings.

Richard was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, camping, fishing, skiing and golfing. Richard was a member of the Valley View Golf Course while living in Bozeman and a member of the Peter Yegen Golf Course while living in Billings.

Richard and Rosemary returned to Bozeman in 2018 to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Jules and Leonne Wenger; father-in-law John Rieber; mother-in-law Rosemary Rieber; brother Bernard Wenger; brothers-in-law Frank Actis, Frank Hull, John Maki, Frank Stanchfield, and John Rieber; sister-in-law Cleo; and two nephews, Tim Hull and John Wenger.

Richard is survived and will be greatly missed by his loving wife Rosemary Wenger; daughter Nancy (Trayce) Stevenson; sons Michael Wenger and Ross (Rebecca Pape) Wenger; four grandchildren: Bryttani Stevenson, Bryce Stevenson, Ryan Wenger and Peyton Wenger; sisters Peggy Actis and Yvonne Hull; sisters-in-law Regina Maki, Edith Stanchfield and Mick Rieber; along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Since 1997 Richard battled numerous health challenges that include a traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, brain cancer and dementia. Richard’s longevity was attributed to the loving care he received by his wife and caregiver, Rosemary, his willingness to live, and his spiritual connection to God.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “Pray It Off Building Fund” at Resurrection Parish, or The Alzheimer’s Association for Alzheimer’s & Dementia Treatment and Research.

A visitation will be held at Resurrection Parish on Monday, Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. A procession to Sunset Hills Cemetery will follow. A reception will follow the Graveside Service back at Resurrection Parish.