Wendels serve as Grand Marshals at Corn Carnival

The 2017 Corn Carnival Grand Marshals Marvin & Judy Wendel are pictured by one of their trucks. Marvin & Judy have been hauling lime and quarry materials in the Gladbrook area for more than 50 years. They hauled in conjunction with Judy’s father Les Schade, and then purchased the business and are still meeting the needs of their many customers.

The Gladbrook Corn Carnival Corporation was recently celebrated with Marvin and Judy Wendel as the 2017 Corn Carnival Parade Grand Marshalls.

Corn Carnival Corporation President Teri Luehring stated, “Judy and Marvin have been longtime local business owners as well as being involved with the success of Corn Carnival for many years. We are honored to have them serve as Grand Marshal for our 95th celebration.”

Marvin and Judy Wendel and big Schade Lime and Rock trucks are well known to farmers in the area. Judy’s parents Les and Vivian Schade moved to Gladbrook in 1949 and began Schade’s Lime and Rock in 1953. Marvin started driving truck for Les right after he and Judy were married. The Wendels bought the business in 1984. Judy started driving truck in 1978. And as they say, “The rest is history”.

Marvin grew up west of Gladbrook on the family farm with his parents Nick and Margaret Wendell. His earliest memories of Corn Carnival were when he was around seven and they would go to town on Saturday night. He always loved the merry-go-round. Marvin began farming as soon as he graduated from Gladbrook High School.

As for Judy, who can forget the bubbly, blond Schade girl with the long pony-tail bounding her way along the floor of the Vets Auditorium during the 1959 and 1960 State Girls Basketball Championships. Following graduation, Judy attended Airline School in Omaha. She moved to Chicago to work as a teletype operator for United Airlines.

Even though the couple were both raised in Gladbrook they did not really know one another. And then one fateful weekend, Judy was visiting at the home of her best friend, Pat Gethmann, and the handsome farmer from west of town and a friend were “out driving around”. They decided to give Judy a ride home – all of a few blocks. The couple had one date and Judy returned to Chicago to work. For the next two years the couple dated every three weeks when Judy would get a long weekend off. And on February 14, 1962 Marvin traveled to Chicago and proposed!! The couple were wed at Peace United Church of Christ on June 2, 1962 and just celebrated 55 years of marriage.

They lived in Honeymoon flats for six months while the place they now live was made habitable. No one had lived in the old farmhouse for many years and Judy says, “There was not even running water”. Marvin said, “Almost all of the dirt work for the basement and footings was done by hand.”

The couple farmed until retiring in 2009 and rented out their Century Farm. They also sold the custom grain truck at that time. But they kept on trucking – hauling tons and tons of rock and lime for patrons.

They are the parents of two children, Lisa and Myron. Lisa and Randy Markley live near Ames and are parents to Jessi and Shane. Jessi and Ed Lozinski have three daughters – Mariska, Michal (MeHow) and Maja. Also, Jina McBroom and Zane, Carl and Sara Markley and Grace and Andrew Markley.

Son Myron and Danielle Wendel of Las Vegas, Nevada are the parents to Mattison and Nick Wendel.

Community activities have been played an important role in the Wendels’ lives. Marvin was in the Jaycees and served as Peace United Church of Christ Board President. Judy taught fourth grade Sunday School class and she sings in the Peace Church Choir. They both loved to dance and were in a card club for many years. They have always loved entertaining family and friends.

The Wendels’ involvement with Corn Carnival started about 40 years ago by feeding the men when they set up the Monday before and tore down the Monday following Carnival. This included the huge tent on Main Street for vendors to display their goods. They donate the sand pile for the Saturday kids day, watch over the kids playing in the sand, sponsor the basketball shot and for the past three years they have been in charge of the Saturday tractor ride.

When queried as to memories of Corn Carnival they both recalled the huge crowds and the dances with big name bands. Having Schade’s business on Main Street meant family and friends stopping by to say hi and use the bathroom. In later years it meant having a motor home in the empty lot east of the pool hall so Vivian wouldn’t miss anything. Over the years there were beds made on the pool hall floor so the little ones could go to sleep and the adults could stay in town and reminisce with friends until all hours. The grand-kids sold pop out of the big door of the office and there were a lot of class reunions on the east side of the building.

Judy says, “Marvin got the truck ready for me to drive thru the parade for so many years.”

And now in 2017 the Wendels can add one more poignant memory – as the well deserved Grand Marshalls of the Corn Carnival Parade!