Cover photo for Dr. Donald L. Wennerberg's Obituary
Dr. Donald L. Wennerberg Profile Photo
1925 Dr. 2015

Dr. Donald L. Wennerberg

January 29, 1925 — April 12, 2015

Dr. Donald L. Wennerberg went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, April 12, 2015. He was an only child, born on January 29, 1925 to Giffert Caleb Wennerberg and Ella Carolyn Dahlgren Wennerberg in Cleveland, OH. He is predeceased by his parents and his wife of 48 years, Martha Leathers Wennerberg.

Don attended what is now known as Northwestern State University and also the University of Georgia for preflight school. He served his country in the U.S. Navy in WWII from 1942 to 1946. He flew a PV-1 Ventura in the Pacific Islands. He later received his O.D. degree from Northern Illinois College of Optometry in 1949.

Don accepted Christ at the age of 25 and was baptized in the First Baptist Church of DeFuniak Springs, FL.

He married Martha Leathers on October 23, 1965 Don had an exceptionally quick wit, which he was eager to share with anyone who would listen. But before a joke or a funny story, he made sure that you heard the plan of salvation. He simply hurt for the lost. He was also eager to share his tasty homemade sweet rolls with numerous friends throughout the community. You could consider yourself fortunate to be on that delivery list!

He had a deep love for music and was gifted with the ability to sing harmony, play the trombone, and play the piano by ear. In high school, he played trombone in the Mercer University Band and was later part of a small jazz band in DeFuniak Springs called the Blew Notes. Don also had a knack for writing poetry and penned more than 50 poems. He enjoyed golf and volleyball and played the position of pitcher in softball and baseball, with a reputation for a mean knuckleball. He was devoted to his hummingbirds and wild birds and would feed any other animal that wandered into his back yard. He loved all of God’s creatures, big and small.

He practiced optometry in DeFuniak Springs for 40 years from 1950 to 1990. He viewed his professional life as an opportunity to serve others and serve the Lord.

Don was very active in the First Baptist Church, serving as Deacon since 1953 and later as Deacon Emeritus. He served in many areas of the church, including Sunday School Teacher, Brotherhood (now Baptist Men) Director, and Discipleship Training Director. He often spoke fondly of his time as Boy Scout Master, when the Boy Scouts were sponsored by First Baptist Church in the 1950s.

He served the Florida Baptist State Convention as a member of the State Board of Missions (1963-1964), Nominating Committee (1988, 1997, 1998), and the Florida Baptist Disaster Relief Team. He and Martha led overseas mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Honduras, where he conducted eye exams and distributed to these remote areas eyeglasses that had been collected from all over the world.

Don started a missionary radio network (Halo Net) in 1962 under the call sign of WA4PXR (Peter X-Ray Rabbit), meeting missionaries’ needs all over the world. These missionaries had no way to communicate other than by means of ham radio. He faithfully led the Halo Net every day, through these many years, up until the time of his death.

Most of his earthly possessions, he gave away to those he felt led to bless. What he is leaving for all of us is a lasting legacy of humbleness, generosity, and a genuine love for others.

He is survived by his daughters, Jana W. Kenney and husband, John “Mo” Kenney, of Lexington, KY and Kim Wennerberg of DeFuniak Springs, FL. He is survived by two grandchildren, Nicholas Kenney and Jaden Kenney, also of Lexington, KY.

Active pallbearers are Robert Capps, Larry Geoghagan, Wilburn Hendrix, James Norton, Jack Owen, Dean Penzo, Chuck Stevenson, Zane Welch, and Wesley Wilkerson. Honorary pallbearers are Deacons and Deacons Emeritus of FBC.
The family is accepting flowers or memorials to the following: First Baptist Church - Shoebox Ministry, 216 East Live Oak Avenue, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435; WMU Foundation, PO Box 11346, Birmingham, AL 35202-1346.

A time of visitation will be conducted from 11am-1pm Thursday, April 16, 2015 at First Baptist Church, 216 East Live Oak Ave., DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. Funeral services will immediately follow at 1pm at First Baptist Church, with Rev. Jerry R. Chumley officiating.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Donald L. Wennerberg, please visit our flower store.


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