MENDOTA – The Sauk Valley Humane Society has closed after the death of its leader, who helped animals in need of homes for decades.
The volunteer organization was founded in Dixon in the 1970s by Ruth MacDonald and Helen McEleney, and in 1991, it found a new home in Mendota thanks to Carol Wendel, who died Dec. 8. She was 79.
Wendel had a building constructed on their family farm, with the help of a bequest from the late Lois Feik, to house homeless animals from southern Lee and northern LaSalle counties.
An avid animal lover, she was named Woman of the Week in 1979 for her love and care of animals.
“Anybody who knew Carol knew the passion and love she had for all furry animals,” according to her obituary.
She is survived by her husband, Lee, of Mendota; her brother Harry (Cathy) Ossman, Jr.; her children Robert Lewis, Kathy Zimmerly, Dawn Cores and Terry Wendel; stepchildren Susan (Hugh) McCoy and Connie (Jon) Yambert; and with 21 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
Merritt Funeral Home handled arrangements, go www.merrittfh.com to read her obituary.