Retired Col. Joseph “Joe” H. Wolfenberger, 88, died July 31, 2020, at Hillcrest Hospital South, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born Dec. 23, 1931, in McAlester, Oklahoma, to Joseph R. and Laura E. (Wheeler) Wolfenberger.
Joe graduated from McAlester High School in 1950, from New Mexico Military Institute in 1952, and from the University of Oklahoma in 1955.
On April 9, 1955, he married Mary Elizabeth Biddick, in Ardmore. They shared over 60 years of marriage, before her death on Nov. 12, 2015.
In 1955, Joe was commissioned in the artillery of the United States Army and served in various command and staff assignments in the United States, Europe, and two tours with combat units in Vietnam. His service included two tours with the 82nd Airborne Division and command of the 130th Field Artillery Brigade of the Kansas Army National Guard. Joe retired from the military in 1988 with 33 years of service. After retirement, Joe worked at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, and Olsten-Kimberly Home Health Services as a physical therapist.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hot Springs Village, Arkansas; Retired Officer’s Association (past president of Hutchinson Chapter); past district commissioner for Mohawk District Boy Scouts of America and High Adventure Advisor to Kanza Council; life member of National Guard Association of United States and Kansas (former member of Executive Committee); life member of 82nd Airborne Division Association; American Legion; Young Men’s Christian Association; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Association of the United Army; American Physical Therapy Association; and former member of Hutchinson Rotary Club.
He is survived by: his children, Kurt (Terri) Wolfenberger of Newton, Kansas; Erick (Ruth) Wolfenberger of The Woodlands, Texas; Karl (Heidi) Wolfenberger of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Paul Wolfenberger of Broken Arrow; Brenda (Greg) Peterson of Hartford, Connecticut; Greta (Michael) Kirk of Waterloo, Illinois; 19 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Wolfenberger; and brother, Richard.
Parish Rosary will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Church of the Holy Cross, 2631 Independence Road, Hutchinson. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the church, both officiated by Father Aaron Spexarth. Burial will follow in Fairlawn Burial Park. Military honors will be conducted by the Kansas Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Elliott Mortuary, with family present from 5 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, in care of Elliott Mortuary and Crematory, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501. On-line condolences – https://www.elliottmortuary.com/obituary/retired-colonel-joseph-joe-wolfenberger