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Tony Wenzel was born and raised on a family farm near Randall, Minnesota on the 10th of September 1942 and just celebrated his 74th birthday. Tony comes from a large family of which there were 12 children,…8 boys and 4 girls.
There was much work to do on this family farm of dairy, beef, and hogs. Large gardens were a must and all the children learned from early on to help with the farm chores and farm field work, raising corn, oats, hay. Mom and Dad taught them to be responsible, good work ethicks, to be kind and to share.
Tony went to a Country School for his first 8 grades and then went to the Little Falls High School and is from the graduating class of 1960.
After graduation, Tony helped out on the farm and worked at the local Boat Factory. In June of 1962, he joined the Army and served two years as a Military Police Sentry Dog Handler.
After returning home from the Service, attended St Cloud State College for a year, until the money ran out. He than worked for a furniture store doing local deliveries, than later as a salesman.
Tony married his best friend, Judy, in June of 1968 at the St James Catholic Church in Randall and together, raised six children…2 boys and 4 girls on a 40 acre wooded hobby farm.
In 1968, he worked at the local boat factory and in 1973 joined the Minnesota Army National Guard and in 1974, he worked full time as a Federal Technician at Camp Ripley and retired in September of 2002 as a Platoon Sergeant . Tony’s position in the Army National Guard was to recruit people to his unit, feed, cloth, and pay his people in the unit. Tony loved his job very much…working with and caring for unit personnel.
On their 40 Acre farm, Tony and his family raised hogs, which produced little pigs to sell. There was much work to do for him and his family. Big gardens were a must for canning produce. There was some good deer hunting on his property. He and his sons harvested many nice deer to help supplement the food chain.
After 20 years of raising hogs, which accounted for much work with little pay in return, he and his family started raising Labrador Retrievers…which is the most popular dog in the nation now since 1992. They all enjoyed working with puppy’s very much. Our farm helped teach our children responsibility and good work ethicks.
All six of our children went on to college, all got married, and most now are raising children of their own. They all have very reputable jobs and we are proud of all of them.
Tony has helped volunteer teaching religion at St James Church in Randall for 20 years.
Tony has started the idea of holding a Annual Church Bazaar, in which he was chairman for the past 25 years. This church bazaar brings the parish family together in attempt to raise money for an addition for student classrooms, large kitchen, hall and handicapped restroom. This has been a very successful operation for the past 25 years and have now broken ground for this new addition unto our church.
Tony loves to hunt deer and has been a member of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association since in has began in some 35 years ago. Tony has been the President of the local chapter and has been the chairman of their annual fund raising banquet.This chapter was highly successful.
Tony does other volunteer work. He has been a volunteer at the local hospital at the front desk in Little Falls since he retired in 2002 or some 14 years ago.
Since his retirement, Tony has put on Retiree Seminars at Camp Ripley for all Veterans who have retired throughout Minnestoa. He brings in speakers who help out our Veterans with information and changes of insurance, I.D.’s, Medical, and other benefits to our Veterans. This is done twice each year. This also makes for a great reunion for our Veterans.
Tony volunteers at his parish in Randall and has served for many years as Parish Councilman, Eucharistic Minister and Lector. Being Chairman for the Annual Church Bazaar for 25 years.
Tony was nominated and awarded the County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens for 2014.
Some of his interest are Hunting, Fishing and raising quality Labrador Retreives. But his big passion is Photography. Tony loves taking photos of Deer, Bear, Birds, Bees, and Flowers. He has taken photos for years of church bazaar and local events.
Tony has taken photos for the new Little Falls Visitor Guide, which depicts events in Little Falls and surrounding areas. Tony photos has made the cover of this magazine for the past 4 years.
Tony’s photos have made the local newspapers, sports magazines and sporting newpapers. His wildlife photos hang on the wall of the Hospital. Tony feels that people coming to the hospital are there to visit a patient or they are a patient and a good wildlife photo is what they just may need to make their day.
Tony is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life and the American Legion Post 46.
His most enjoyment of photography is when people come up to him and say that they had seen his photo in the paper, or magazine or hanging up at the hospital and how well they liked his photos.