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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Glenna Wentzloff would agree that she was the life of the party wherever she went. She was strong, resilient, and courageous with a zest for life that was impossible to miss. A free-spirited woman, Glenna never let life get the best of her and made the most of whatever life brought. She was deeply devoted to her loved ones, and a friend of Glenna’s was a friend for life. She was able to make even the ordinary extraordinary, and nothing was better than when her grandchildren were near. Life will never be the same without Glenna here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever treasure.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of the nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. Glenna was born on May 8, 1942 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Glenna joined the Newton family that consisted of Marilyn and Joan, and their parents Victor and Margaret Newton. Raised in the family home on Hutchinson Street in Kalamazoo, she was feisty, mischievous, and even a bit strong-willed. Glenna was sent to a Catholic girl’s school where she continued to get into trouble including the time she organized a viewing of the banned Elvis Presley appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. As a teen Glenna became good friends with the three Melson sisters: Doris, Dean, and Sue . The sisters seemed to have had Glenna’s same mischievous and kindred spirit. She was never one for planning, worrying about tomorrow, or putting off what she could do today.
Life truly began for Glenna when she became a mother. She was blessed with eight children including Cris, Kurt, Tyler, Rebecca, Vicki, Dawn, Michael, and Naomi. Glenna was the fun mom because she was just a big kid herself. She had a knack to make everything special. Glenna regularly took her kids on camping trips around the Great Lakes. Every summer she would find a way to take her children on a surprise trip to Cedar Point. Glenna always went all out for Christmas, letting each of her kids make, bake, and decorate their own cookies even though it meant a huge mess. Their house was always decked out as well. Game night was legendary and Glenna played right along with the kids. As adults, they shared vacations to New England, Utah, Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, Vegas and several family vacations to Fripp Island.
When Glenna’s family grew to include grandchildren she was thrilled. The days that each of her grandchildren were born were among the happiest days of her life. The tragic loss of her grandson Christopher was one of her greatest sorrows. In more recent days, Glenna reconnected with a few of her children which lifted her spirits. Over the years she spent as much time with her family as she could and was there for her loved ones in whatever way was needed.
Throughout her life Glenna was a woman of many interests. She was a woman of faith and very heavily influenced by the faith of her family. Glenna was a very passionate crafter and she enjoyed sewing, knitting and crocheting, among other crafts. Glenna made things like exquisite christening gowns, dolls, and beaded jewelry, and she recently made beautiful paper crafts. Quilting seeming to be the one craft she couldn't quite master since there are bins of unfinished quilts as proof! Glenna also loved using her creative touch in her home as she was forever painting, decorating, rearranging, or redoing a room. Even in her last days she was still rearranging her living room, looking for new lamps, and planning to repaint a dining room table. Glenna was a proud “Trekky” who also loved reading science fiction and crafting books. She appreciated all genres of music including whatever her grandchildren enjoyed listening to. Glenna was known for her spirit of adventure and was willing to try just about anything once.
When reflecting on the life of Glenna Wentzloff, it is easy to see her love for life. She never let life get the best of her and still managed to lift the spirits of others even when facing trials of her own. She was passionate about the people and things she loved, and there was never a dull moment when Glenna was around. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Glenna Wentzloff died on February 25, 2019. Surviving are her children: Cris Mans, Kurt Mans, Tyler Morrison, Rebecca Gordon, Vicki (Charles) Zagar, Dawn (Paul) Handy, Michael (Melinda) Wentzloff and Naomi (Randy) Duvall; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Glenna was preceded in death by her sisters: Marilyn Woodruff and Joan Dudeck; and grandson, Christopher VanDenBerg. Cremation has taken place. A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. on Monday (Mar. 4) at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A reception will follow at Theo and Stacy’s Restaurant, 4311 S. Westnedge Ave. Memorial contributions may be made to SPCA of Southwest Michigan. Please visit Glenna’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook.