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Wendell Baldwin Harris 1932-2021

Wendell Baldwin Harris went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 2, 2021, at Decatur Memorial Hospital, with his family by his side.

Wendell was born on October 30, 1932, in Detroit, Michigan, to Elbert and Annella (Baldwin) Harris.  He moved with his family to Benton, Illinois, and lived there for several years before joining the Navy.  He served during the Korean War until he was honorably discharged.  After his service, he moved to Moline, Illinois, where he met and married the love of his life Marilyn Giles on October 12, 1957.  Together they raised their children, Brenda and Doug, in Decatur, Illinois.  Wendell worked at Borg Worner as a Millwright and retired from Climate Control in Decatur.

Wendell loved his family and his friends deeply, and was always ready with a story or an encouraging word.  No one ever left his company without feeling valued and loved.  He walked at the Decatur Indoor Sports Center often and was known to many people there for his friendly and caring personality. He was a peacemaker through and through and always strove to bring people together.   He was quick to drop everything to offer his help, never complaining even if he was interrupted. 

He also enjoyed working on cars and owned and restored many throughout his life.  He never met a car he couldn’t fix.  Many a time, his children and grandchildren would bring him a car with a strange noise and he would listen and quickly diagnose the problem.  He loved working with his hands and built many things during his life, including a beautiful gazebo for his wife, Marilyn.

One of his greatest joys in life was fishing with his children, grandchildren, and brothers, and an even greater joy was out-fishing all of them.   And when he didn’t out-fish them, he would playfully argue that he had the biggest fish on his line, but it got away.  He was probably right.

He also found pleasure in watching the birds in his backyard and always had full feeders for those special visitors.

Wendell loved Jesus with his entire self and shared that love with the people around him.  You could not talk to Wendell without also feeling that love.  He read his Bible daily and lived those Words.  He will be greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Wendell is survived by his wife of 63 years Marilyn; daughter, Brenda (David) Ellis; son, Douglas (Rebecca) Harris; granddaughter, Mary (Zachary) Barnes; grandsons, Michael Ellis, Samuel Harris, and Ian Harris; sisters Evelyn (Charles) Bayless and Roselyn Wingo; and brothers Benjamin (Sandra) and Michael (Sharon).

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, William and Robert; and sister, Joanne Swofford.

Services to honor and celebrate Wendell’s life will be held at 12pm on Friday, October 8, 2021, at Life Foursquare Church, 2954 Ash Ave., Decatur, IL.  The family will receive friends for a time of visitation one hour before the service.  Interment will be held at Marrowbone Cemetery in Bethany, Illinois. Tanzyus-Logan Funeral Service and Care is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial donations can be made to Life Foursquare Church in Decatur, Illinois, or The Bridge Church in Rensselaer, Indiana.

The family would like to thank the wonderful and compassionate ICU staff at Decatur Memorial Hospital, especially Shayla and Mary Grace for the care they provided Wendell.

Wendell fought the good fight, finished the race, and above all, kept the Faith (2 Timothy 4:7).

Please sign the family guestbook.

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