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Published: Wednesday, 7/2/2003

Sandusky instructor promoted sufficiency

SANDUSKY - Helen Seibel Wennes, who received a degree in home economics as a young woman and who, as a widowed mother with three children, became a junior high school home economics teacher, died Monday in the home of her daughter Janet Seibel. She was 87.

Mrs. Wennes had been in ill health recently.

She retired in the mid-1970s from the Sandusky City Schools and Adams Junior High School, where she taught students how to sew an apron and cook a meal and about hygiene.

“She just liked talking to the girls, and she was good at it,” said her daughter, who was in her mother's first class.

Mrs. Wennes was teaching both the tasks of a household and self-sufficiency, just as she'd taught her two daughters and son to cook. Her credo was “you have to learn to take care of yourself,” Janet said.

Mrs. Wennes was a 1935 graduate of Sandusky High School and a 1939 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, from which she received a bachelor's degree in home economics.

“My grandfather thought that women needed to be educated,” Janet said.

Mrs. Wennes' first husband, Blinn Seibel, died Oct. 25, 1960. She went to Bowling Green State University afterward to get her teaching certification.

“She worked hard, but she was a strong-willed woman,” her daughter said.

Mrs. Wennes was a member of First Congregational United Church of Christ and had served on the board of deacons.

She was a member of the Sunshine Society and the College Women's Club in Sandusky. She was a member of the Sandusky Sailing Club and the Sandusky Yacht Club.

“She was the kind of woman people liked and respected,” her daughter said.

She married Richard Wennes in the 1970s after retirement. They liked to travel and spent winters in Venice, Fla. He died in the late 1980s.

Surviving are her daughters, Jeanne Seibel and Janet Seibel; son, Edwin Seibel; two granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today in the David F. Koch Mortuary, Sandusky. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Oakland Cemetery Chapel, Sandusky.

The family requests tributes to the Sunshine Society or Stein Hospice Service, Sandusky.

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