Robert (Bob) Wankel
Robert (Bob) Wankel

Robert (“Bob”) Wankel passed away peacefully in his sleep with his wife, Wanda, by his side, Sunday evening, August 20, at Sheridan Memorial Hospital in Plentywood, of acute renal failure.  Funeral services were be at 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; Pastor Chansy Charles officiated at the service at First Congregational Church in Plentywood; interment will be at the Huffman - Wankel family cemetery northeast of Raymond.
Robert L. Wankel was born June 29, 1925 in the homestead house on the farm to Art and Mabel (Huffman) Wankel, the youngest of six children. During grade school in the winter months, early in the morning, he rode his horse down the hill to the Wankel school to start the furnace. He went to college for a time, then came back to farm with his dad, Art, and brother, Merrill. He met Wanda Harris in Great Falls while she was in Cadet nurse corps training and they married Dec. 6, 1947 in Great Falls. They had many good times: ice skating, tobogganing, skiing, and rasing their kids in a large extended family: twelve kids at one point lived among the Huffman and Wankel families on the farm.
Bob played and coached the Big and Little Muddy league baseball teams for years; one time when he was pitching, a hard line drive was hit and struck some farmer matches in his pocket and lit them on fire ... a real hot pocket! He was a dedicated Twins fan and loved baseball beyond description! Also an avid reader, he read everything, but especially “Ann Perry” mystery novels. Listening to opera was also a favorite pastime for him. Crossword puzzles, occupied a lot of his time. His kids remember playing ping-pong with him and how he loved to slam the ball! He hit it so hard is usually broke or missed the table. He hunted deer and antelope with his sons Mark and Mike, and enjoyed goose hunting in Canada with friends.
Bob was a member of the 1st Congregational church in Plentywood, and, in the past, in various other farm organizations.
Bob is survived by his wife, Wanda; children Mike Wankel and his wife Sandy, and Diane Chandler and her husband, Alan; also by sisters-in-law Bonne Perry of Sidney and Cleone Wankel of Plentywood. He is also survived by Mike’s children Meghan and Mallory, of Toronto, who grew up on the farm with Bob; Diane’s children Gwen Budd (Kenny), Daniel, Tyler, and Dillan, of Moorhead, Minnesota; Joey (Tracie) Mason and Hudson Chandler, of Rural Plentywood; Billy Chandler (Daughter Angelina) of Belgrade, Montana; Bobby Chandler, of Belgrade, and Bonne Chandler, of Plentywood. Also surviving are sisters Katie Zeidler of Plentywood and Muriel George of Hamilton, Montana and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Mabel Wankel; son, Mark, who died Oct. 23, 1999; father-in-law Glenn Harris; sisters Wynona Kenney (Joe), Joyce Fortner (Ed), brother, Merrill, two nephews Jerry and Pat Kenney; and brothers-in-law Barr Zeidler and Walter George.
Bob and Wanda traveled much over the years, all around Montana, visiting family and friends. They especially enjoyed the Fort Peck Summer Theater. Bob was a funny, kind man who graciously welcomed people into his home. We’d grown “accustomed to his face” and will miss him.
Fulkerson Funeral Home of Plentywood has charge of arrangements.