Bart E. Wegenke

Bart Edward Wegenke passed away on January 11, 2020 in the arms of his family. He was the loving husband of Mary Jo and adoring father of Sam and Emily Wegenke who survive him. Also surviving him are his parents, Dr. Gary and Sandra Wegenke, brothers Bret (Jeannie) Wegenke, Blake (Krista) Wegenke, and many beloved nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, and treasured friends.

Bart was born in South Bend, Indiana on January 28, 1966, but his family moved to Michigan and he spent most of his childhood in Lansing where he and his buddies, who would remain life-long friends, had the run of Groesbeck’s friendly streets on Lansing’s northeast side. Sunup to sundown, summer days were bikes and baseball, punctuated by whatever mischief the unsupervised boys could find. From the start, Bart’s home was the epicenter of happy, boisterous activity, which was a pattern that would continue throughout his life as his warmth and exuberance drew people to him.

Family always formed the stable core of Bart’s world, beginning with the parents and brothers he loved. When he married his high school sweetheart and established his own family, Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily became the cherished nucleus of his life, the uncontested center around which everything else rotated. Admiring, encouraging, and protecting them, he worked and played and laughed with them and loved them unreservedly.

Bart’s great enthusiasm for life both propelled him into the world and drew friends to him. Following his parents into education, he began his career in the classroom but spent most of his years as a high school principal, a position he loved. Leading the way for his youngest brother, to become an educator. Rising before dawn, he was always the first to arrive at school, where he logged long days, usually dashing home for a quick dinner before returning to school to set an example for his students of good sportsman-and-citizenship, while he supported them on playing fields, in gyms, and on stages. Despite the energy he poured into education, Bart’s love of sport and competition carried him around the country as a basketball official for 37 years, 21 of those at the Division I Level. It was a labor of love and a testament to the breadth of his talent and his passion for life.

Fulfilled by family and work, Bart also treasured his many friends and he made a point to stay connected to them. Generous by nature and habit, he leaves friends who attest to the way he consistently put other people first, who agree that “With Bart, you always left knowing someone cared about you.” Laughing about his famous pep-talks, whether they followed a round of golf or while on a road trip, they acknowledge that in Bart’s case, it was impossible to separate the person from the teacher.

Bart’s colleagues and students will remember him as a dynamic leader who advocated for kids. Full of optimism and energy, he worked tirelessly–and compassionately–to help students and teachers set a high bar for achievement and then clear it. He was a culture-shaper who built trust and camaraderie, who insisted on best-efforts and second-chances. And, like his beloved family and friends, his staff and students knew he always had their backs.

In touching so many lives with kindness and the example of integrity, Bart Wegenke had a great impact on the world. “We have to take the high road,” he told his family at every turn. It was a road he knew well. In pursuing this life well-lived, Bart agreed with Mary Jo that their kids were their finest accomplishment and Sam and Emily return their dad’s regard. “He always made sure people felt included,” Sam recalls. “He was our best cheerleader,” Mary Jo adds. “He was the principal of the high school, but he was our team captain,” Emily concludes. What everyone who knew him agrees on is that Bart Wegenke will be deeply missed and always remembered.

The Wegenke family will receive friends from 2-4 and 5-7 on Friday, January 17th at Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel: 325 W. Washtenaw Street, Lansing. A Memorial Mass will follow on Saturday, January 18th, at 11:00, at The Church of the Resurrection, 1527 East Michigan Avenue in Lansing. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations of backpacks and school supplies to support the students of Haslett Public Schools.  Items may be brought to Estes-Leadley and The Church of The Resurrection. Monetary donations may be made out to Haslett Public Schools in Memory of Bart Wegenke and can be mailed to 5593 Franklin Street Haslett, MI 48840.

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149 Messages to “Bart E. Wegenke

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Marc Thibaudeau
January 12, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Much respect from a basketball fan. His dedication and passion were phenomenal! RIP sir.

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Javier Enrique perez
January 18, 2020 at 7:19 pm

My deepest condolences…you where a wonderful person to work with..may u rest in peace my friend

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Javier Enrique Perez @lisa Gonzalez
January 18, 2020 at 7:34 pm

My deepest condolences to the family’s..I enjoyed the years working with u.. may you rest in peace my friend..

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Jennifer Eaglin
January 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm

Mary Jo and Family~There are no words I can say, except that I am so very sorry for your
loss!! My heart aches with this shocking news! You all are in my prayers! Sending you internal strength and love.
~Jennifer Eaglin

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Kim Klapko
January 12, 2020 at 3:11 pm

I am extremely heartbroken to hear of this sad news. Bart was a very kind thoughtful person. Gone way too soon! Mary Jo and children, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so very sorry for your loss!

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Don Vogt
January 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm

To the Wegenke Family,

Sincerest Christian Sympathy to all of your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless You!

Don Vogt

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Marci Williams
January 12, 2020 at 4:43 pm

My heart aches for you, Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily. Bart had compassion for people and a passion for students. So many memories have flooded my mind since hearing of your loss. May God be with you during this most difficult time.

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Rosemarie Aquilina
January 12, 2020 at 5:32 pm

Very sorry for your loss! I can’t think of a better mentor for the students he touched. His absolute dedication, commitment, and compassion to education, family, community, and all our children was priceless. He is irreplaceable. I am grateful for his guidance, sense of humor, leadership, and friendship. He will be missed not just by his beautiful family but by all who knew him. He is now a very special Guardian Angel to his children. Sending love and prayers and lighting candles in church.

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Rob Johnson
January 12, 2020 at 5:35 pm

My condolences to the family,Praying for God to give us all strength to get through this.Bart you will truly be missed my friend but never forgotten.Quaker family for EVER!

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June L. May
January 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm

Wow..what words do you say to a man who has touched so many?? Prayers to all family and friends, may you continue to hold on a little tighter to each other as Bart has been called home and will be with you always! Thanx for the laughs and memories. I am honored to have known you, as we will all be together again one day! God Bless!

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Rhonda Slazinski
January 12, 2020 at 6:13 pm

Mary Jo and family, I am soooo sorry to hear of this loss! Praying for healing and strength for you and your family!!! Sending my most sincere love and condolences!

Rhonda Kienke Slazinski

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Brodie Surfus
January 12, 2020 at 6:31 pm

I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I met my cousin Bart for the first time a few months back and have never felt more welcomed by an individual or their family. Bart and I shared a night of drinks and story telling about his adventures with my father, David Surfus, when they were children. It was a night full of laughs and love that i will always cherish. My prayers go out to the entire Wegenke family, may God look over your family in this tough time.

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Juanita Patterson Peters
January 12, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Mary Jo and family, my prayers are with you during this painful and difficult time. I will always remember him and the great person and classmate he was. I’m so so sorry for your loss. God bless and strengthen you and your family.

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Joe Fox
January 12, 2020 at 7:04 pm

I knew Bart from a professional relationship, calling on him as a vendor in the schools where he worked. The man knew how to treat people and always had a smile, a wink or kind word to make you feel special. He was a great administrator that always had the kids best interest at heart. The world just got a little darker when God took his light from this life. The Wegenke family is in my prayers. So very sorry for your loss.RIP my friend.

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George Wilson
January 12, 2020 at 7:10 pm

So sorry to hear of this loss; gone to soon a kind man with character and integrity. It was my privilege to referee College Basketball with Bart & his twin Brother. Praying that God will comfort and provide peace for the family in this time of grief.

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Jeff Smith
January 12, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Marjo Jo, Sam and Emily, I am so saddened by this tragic news. Bart was wonderful to work with, and I appreciate his time, concern and friendship over the last 16 years. He was taken far too soon. All of you are in my families thoughts and prayers. May he look over all of you from Heaven above.

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SHIRLEY NOETZOLD
January 12, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Mary Jo, Emily, Sam and Family, friends, and Haslett families, Bart was a wonderful man and I feel fortunate to have had him for a next door neighbor – so caring and fun. I will especially miss his waves as we passed often in our neighborhood. May your wonderful memories and happy times help you in the days to come. God bless you and yours. I am right next door and you all will be in my thoughts and prayers, and if you NEED ANYTHING, LET ME KNOW. LOVE YOU!!!

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Jon and Janet Baugher
January 12, 2020 at 8:33 pm

Our deepest sympathy to the family. Bart was a great guy, and his dedication to his family, and his students and staff, will stand as an example for others to follow. Rest in peace, good man. You will be missed.

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Christopher Steinway
January 12, 2020 at 8:59 pm

You will be missed. Thank you for all your contributions to the education of Greater Lansing children.

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Wanda Powell
January 12, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Oh my! My deepest sympathy goes out to you Mary Jo and family. Bart was a great guy. I believe all of us from Eastern High School developed A relationship as family rather than friends. I am so sadden to hear this. May he rest in Gods arms. God bless you and strengthen your family.

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Sue Sandmire
January 12, 2020 at 9:53 pm

My sincerest condolences. I’m just heartbroken over this sudden tragedy. I think of little Bart snuggling up to me with the other cousins as I read to them so many years ago, and of spending time celebrating their January birthdays with Abigail during our years in Grand Rapids. Don and I will continue to pray for your family’s strength. Bart leaves a wonderful legacy.

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Bill Weckesser
January 12, 2020 at 9:55 pm

So sad. Such a loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

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Dave Owens, Robin and family
January 12, 2020 at 10:24 pm

Mary Jo, Sam, Emily words cannot express the sorrow we are feeling for you and for all of our loss.
My family is thinking of you and thinking of the positive role model and mentor he was to so many people. A great educator, family man, professional, and friend! He influenced so many people in so many different ways and he brought out the best in people. Through his words and most importantly his actions, he made me a better teacher, coach, husband, and father. He will be missed by all who knew him. We lost a great one way too soon!

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Dawn Woodard
January 13, 2020 at 1:07 am

Mary Jo and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It made me go back to Eastern thoughts of Bart and Bret and times in High School. My condolences to you and your family. What a wonderful man Bart turned out to be. Sending prayers from one Quaker to another Quaker. God’s blessings to you all.

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Laura and Bruce Macdonald
January 13, 2020 at 2:31 am

Mr. Wegenke was a kind, wise, child-centered educator. Our two kids felt safe and nurtured in the atmosphere of Haslett High School; an atmosphere that he fostered with loving care. Sincere condolences to his family on the loss of a quality, authentic human being.

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Brandon Falcsik
January 13, 2020 at 8:02 am

He was an amazing principal and a great friend and he always had a smile on his face even though he was having a bad day I will never forget the times we had together

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John Sandlin
January 13, 2020 at 8:37 am

To the Wegenke Family,

My sincerest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to all during this difficult time. Bart was always a pleasure to be around when working games at Haslett. May God wrap his arms of love and peace around all of you.

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Amy Kilbridge
January 13, 2020 at 8:45 am

As so many have written here, Bart’s dedication to young people and education along with his sunny personality will certainly be missed.
Mary Jo, Emily and Sam, I’m wishing you strength and peace. I know you are a wonderful, close knit family, and that is so very important during times like this.

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Eddie Saade
January 13, 2020 at 8:47 am

Wegenke Family,
Bart was always such an encouragement to me. He was a great coach and principlal but a better man. I have always enjoyed my time around Bart from the moment he introduced himself to me when I was a freshman in high school. Bart did life the right way and impacted all of us he has met. Many of us are better for knowing him!

Prayers are with your family,

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Kandice & Frank Noyola
January 13, 2020 at 9:39 am

Dear Wegenke Family,

We are so sad for your loss and for the community’s loss of this great man who touched so many lives. He was filled with such passion for others. Please know that we love you and are praying for you during this difficult time.

Love – the Noyolas

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Maryann Louney
January 13, 2020 at 11:13 am

My prayers go out to the Wegenke family & Haslett school community.
As a parent who was fortunate enough to have Mr. Wegenke through both junior & Highschool years, I will be forever thankful for his calm demeanor & willingness to help us navigate a number of teen school issues. We knew him as a trusted administrator who listened generously and never hesitated to act.

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Susan Edminster
January 13, 2020 at 11:31 am

I used to babysit Bart, his twin Bret and their younger brother Blake several decades ago. Very shocked to hear of his passing. I have had the good fortune to have met many sets of twins in my life; Bart and Bret were the first twins I knew. Prayers and condolences to the entire Wegenke family, and especially Bret.

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Lu Schaibly
January 13, 2020 at 12:14 pm

To your beautiful family . . . Your husband and father was an amazing man, one of the true exceptions in life we are lucky to cross paths with. His vibrant personality, his personal way with people and his true compassion for his students and staff and anything he took an interest in was next to none. The staff and students of Haslett High School, as well as, the Haslett Community are all very fortunate to have known him and walked the walk with him at times. Until we meet again . . . .

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Roger Daugherty Sr.
January 13, 2020 at 12:38 pm

My heart goes out to Bart’s family on their loss. Bart was a great guy. I watched the twins and Blake grow up when I was married to Sandy’s siater Jane. My heart also goes out to Sandy and Gary Wegenke.Rest in Peace Bart.

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Karina MacIntosh
January 13, 2020 at 1:04 pm

Mary Jo and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything I can do. All of our thoughts are with you from my whole staff at The Classy Canine.

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Flora Baeza Shingledecker
January 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm

My memories of Bart takes me back to Junior High School, & our faith.

He was popular. I am glad to hear of his leadership-role in his community in adulthood.

I am glad he was able to share that joy, and commitment with in his duties.

I definitely could see that in his future, if anyone would have asked me many years ago…all memories are positive, when I think of Bart…

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Kevin Feldman
January 13, 2020 at 6:38 pm

My deepest sympathies and hopes for peace and healing to all family and friends of Bart Wegenke. I had the pleasure of meeting Bart through my work w/schools in Ingham Country and Haslett was one of the stars, thanks in large part to Bart. His infectious positive “we’ll find a way” attitude, keen sense of humor, unwaivering support of students and staff were self evident in everything Bart did as Principal of Haslett High. Even after our project ended, every time I was in town from CA Bart would make a point of making time to get together to catch up, share stories, laugh and enjoy one another’s company. Like everyone I was devastated by the news of his passing and can only echo the HUGE life affirming contribution he made to all of us lucky enough to come into his orbit.

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Clyde E. Ethington
January 13, 2020 at 6:59 pm

Wow! I can’t believe Bart is gone! He’s too good to be gone. The world needs MORE Barts, not less. He was one of my absolute favorite basketball players. He was not an athletic star on my basketball team, but, his presence helped to make a positive team chemistry the year he played or me. What made him so special to me was his intelligence, positive attitude, self-discipline, hard work and bubbly personality. He and his brother, Bret, could execute a team strategy better than any guards that I ever had in my 35years of coaching, even though they had half the athletic ability of a lot of my players. I could always count on them to execute the plays correctly. When I heard the news of Bart’s passing it actually brought tears to my eyes. I never knew Bart was into my soul so deep. But, I’m seeing now was…And I’m glad. My heart goes out to his parents whom I knew very well, and they’re special people, too. I absolutely feel for his brother, Bret, because they were so close. Peace to you Bret. If I was able to attend the funeral I certainly would. However, I now live in The Philippines and it would be very difficult for me to get there at this time. However, my condolences go out to the entire family, and my heart goes out to Bart. Sincerely, Clyde E. Ethington, Basketball Coach,, Lansing Eastern High School.

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Ken Sudall
January 13, 2020 at 7:23 pm

I have known Bart for all of his 37 officiating years and always found him to be highly professional in all his endeavors, friend – official – teacher. His smile was warm and his humor intoxicating. He will be missed.

Peace and Prayers.

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Chris Hocquard
January 13, 2020 at 7:38 pm

My families thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family. May you rest in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father now. He will continue to be your biggest cheerleader from up above. May you Rest In Peace Bart.

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Travis Stirewalt
January 13, 2020 at 8:29 pm

Bart Wegenke was my Principal at Haslett High School. Mr. Wegenke did a lot for me and all his other students. It was a privilege to have a principal like him.

He was a good man, and he will be missed. Rest In Peace Sir.

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DONALD F CHAMBERS
January 13, 2020 at 8:14 pm

RIP Bart and our prayers are with you Mary Jo, Sam and Emily. I had the privilege to work with Bart for four short years at Owosso High School. I never worked with a principal that worked better with a community of students, parents and teachers. Our loss was Haslett’s gain and both communities will mourn your loss and remember you well.

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Linda Phaneuf
January 13, 2020 at 8:18 pm

My thoughts and prayers to you, Mary Jo and your family. He was a spark at Owosso High School during his tenure there. He had a zest for life and a positive word for everyone. I certainly enjoyed the time we were able to work together. Heaven had gained a true angel but way too soon.

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Wendie Hardy Karpinski
January 13, 2020 at 8:35 pm

The preceding comments have provided a great, unwavering testimonial to the impact Bart had on the lives of those fortunate enough to know him. What a legacy of love, compassion, caring and expectations he has bestowed upon us. We will hold him in high regard and bask in the light his life has left behind.

To Bart’s family ~ May the love of friends give you comfort and may the love of God give you peace. I am so very sad for your loss.

Wendie Karpinski

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Michael Hengstebeck
January 13, 2020 at 8:37 pm

My prayer for your family is that as time goes by you are all able to find your new “normal”. Not better, just different. Bart was an excellent person as is Brett. I have known both since Indian guides in my parents basement in grade school. Both boys were easily in the top of our class of “84” as being popular, fun loving good people. Rip Bart, the world and our lives are better for having had the pleasure of knowing you.

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Dennis Marrs
January 13, 2020 at 8:40 pm

Mary Jo, Sam and Emily we pray for you to find peace. From the first time I met Bart, I too was pulled in to his dynamic personality and great sense of humor. Mitch and Matt always felt the cousin vibe and love which came with every encounter with Bart. God has plans which we just can’t understand and this is (for sure) one of those. We are here for you all, anytime for anything. All our Love, prayers and sincere condolences.
Patti, Dennis, Mitch and Matt

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Keyton Family
January 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

From the Keyton Famiy to the Wegenke Family. Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength. What a true loss for the entire Greater Lansing Community.

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Dan Hoff
January 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm

While on the basketball staff for Western Michigan University for over five years, I came to appreciate Bart’s professionalism and his human side. He and I would regularly share brief comments and smiles, though he took seriously his responsibility to fairly officiate each game. His loss will be felt by many in the game.

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Cheryl and Tom Farver
January 13, 2020 at 9:10 pm

Dear Mary Jo, Sam and Emily
We are so sorry for you loss and we are asking God in our prayers to send you all strength and courage and peace.

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Kelli Davis
January 13, 2020 at 9:27 pm

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Bart’s passing. He was like a big brother to me as well as many others back in the old days at American Rentals. Mary Jo, Sam and Emily words can not express my deepest sympathies for you at this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Wegenke family at this sad time. Bret, I’m so sorry that you have had to say goodbye to your twin way to early. So many people were touched by his humor and bright smile, he will be truly missed by so many.

In our thoughts and prayers,
Kelli Hogan Davis

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John, Judy & Zach Green
January 13, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Mary Jo, Sam and Emily our thoughts and prayers are with you. Bart’s contagious smile, and his love for people will never be forgotten. God be with you all in your time of sorrow.

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Linda Merrifield
January 13, 2020 at 10:02 pm

I met Bart when he was assistant principal in Grand Ledge. He was the Pom squad administrative advisor so as President of their booster club we worked together to promote the team. Bart was always very professional and a wonderful example for his staff and students. My prayers are with his family.
Linda Merrifield

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Mark and Suzanne Goodloe
January 13, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Mary Jo, Emily and Sam, we were beyond shocked and saddened to learn of Bart’s passing. Such a warm and welcoming man, with aura of love surrounding his presence. We very much enjoyed visiting with him during our visits to Lansing. We pray that God blesses you and your family with comfort and understanding, and all the beautiful memories of this wonderful man flow in your minds like the rivers to the sea.

Mark and Suzanne Goodloe

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Jessi Wortley Adler
January 13, 2020 at 11:23 pm

My deepest condolences to the Wegenke family and the Haslett school family. We were all better off for knowing Mr. Wegenke. I had the honor of having him as my assistant principal when I was in high school at Grand Ledge and then my kids had him as their principal at Haslett. I remember the first time we saw him at Haslett and he remembered me right away almost 20 years later like it had been yesterday, even asking about my folks. I’m so glad both myself and my kids had the amazing opportunity to have him in our lives.

Mr. Wegenke was just the best. He always had the kids’ best interests at heart and you couldn’t help but smile after having even the briefest of conversations with him. Our hearts are all breaking and confused by this sad news, but I will think of how happy he always was and will continue to smile in his memory.

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Andre & Deborah & Debryhana Flint
January 14, 2020 at 5:38 am

Our Deepest Condolences and Prayers goes our to his wife n kids and family, So very sorry, He is an amazing wonderful man that treated and greeted everyone with a beautiful smile and my family is so proudly glad to have met him when our daughter attended the Haslett High School, a beautiful soul whom will be so truly missed.
Andre, Deborah & Debryhana Flint and Family

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Amy Six-King
January 14, 2020 at 5:49 am

Sincere condolences to the Wegenke family- Recalling Bart’s impact, it is apparent – it was immense! Stating my career I can claim he was the voice on the line when receiving my first job in education at Grand Ledge High School. I was fortunate to work with him, and he was a mentor, over eight years. He inspired the educational journey of many and was a role model for how to treat students, staff and parents. Sincere wishes of peace and love to the entire Wegenke family and especially to Mary Jo, Sam and Emily.

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Carole Kienke
January 14, 2020 at 7:59 am

To Mary Jo and Family, I’m so sorry to hear of the death of your husband and father. May God hold you close and grant you peace and strength. With most sincere Sympathy.

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Barbara F Robertson
January 14, 2020 at 8:11 am

Mary Jo and family I am so very sorry to hear of Bart’s passing, My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

Barb Robertson

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Delores Ann Schnarr
January 14, 2020 at 8:45 am

Bart Wegenke has left us a legacy that will not be forgotten. His ready smile, his positive attitude, his “we-can-do-this” motivating words and actions uplifted and inspired those fortunate enough to be around him. My years as a teacher at HHS were made more rewarding and fruitful by Bart’s support, encouragement, and tireless energy. As a role model of dedication to our students, to excellence, to looking for the good all around us, Bart was second to none. I am thankful I was able to learn from him to value every day and every opportunity to enrich someone else’s life. My love to you Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily.

Dee Schnarr

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Cassandra Scarbeck
January 14, 2020 at 9:31 am

Bart will always be remembered for his smile. Truly one of the good guys. Wegenke family… I’m so sorry for your loss. Much love sent your way.

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Linda Sampson
January 14, 2020 at 9:31 am

I send my deepest condolences to the Wegenke family. I was fortunate to have Bart as an Assistant Principal during my final years teaching at GLHS. He was a great guy, loved the students, supported his staff, and with a smile told it like it was! The education community has lost a gem. I hold the family in my prayers

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Paul, Mary, Sydney, Hailey and Kylor Mills
January 14, 2020 at 10:15 am

Beautiful Tribute to an amazing man! We will miss him dearly. Bart, Thank You for all the great Family memories. Love to all of you!

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Randy Hutton
January 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply. It’s hard to forget someone like Bart who gave you so much to remember.

Wishing your family peace to bring comfort, the courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

Bart didn’t tell us how to live; he lived, and let us watch him do it and we are forever grateful.

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Steve Crowley
January 14, 2020 at 11:48 am

Bart was a great man, friend, and leader. He always made you feel welcomed and cared for. My condolences to the Wegenke family. Prayers and thoughts are with the family.

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Lori Bailey
January 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Jamie Anderson said it so well;
“Grief is really just love. It is all the love you want to give but cannot. All that unspent love gathers in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and the hollow of your chest.”

Grief is just love with no place to go.

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Kari Hodge
January 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm

My son was blessed to have Mr Wegenke as a principal at HHS, and I was blessed to know my son had a mentor and supporter in Mr Wegenke. Even after graduation, when he came in to pick up donuts on Sunday mornings where I worked, he never failed to ask how my son, his now wife and their daughter were doing. I truly believe all of Haslett has gained another guardian angel. I also believe that former principal Tony Waldron, and Mr Wegenke are sharing stories that only a principal can truly appreciate. Haslett has lost a true friend and role model. Many prayers to the Wegenke family, and thank you for sharing Bart with all of us. God Bless.

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KENNETH J TURNER
January 14, 2020 at 2:16 pm

The Wegenke family are in my positive thoughts and prayers during this time of transition.

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Charles E Ramsey
January 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm

You will be missed my man, may you have eternal peace!

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Danny Sapp
January 14, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Grace and peace to the Wegenke family and friends in your time of bereavement. God bless you all.

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Narda Murphy
January 14, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Dear Mary Jo and family,
Sending my deepest condolences to you. May the memories of your amazing husband and father fill your hearts and balance out the grief you are experiencing. Sending hugs –
Narda

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Floyd Jones
January 14, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Bart , What’s an example of Being a great man, husband, Father, and friend. I can remember a conversation we had when I ask you how did you make it to division 1. And you said to me when you get there, make sure you help the Next one. You were always a people person You’ll be Missed greatly but never forgotten. Rest in heaven.

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Joseph Walsh, Jr.
January 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Bart was a true but friendly professional, who always treated my family and myself well. You‘ll never get over this, nor should you. You eventually learn to live with it. (In April, my Dad will have been gone 30 years.)

I don‘t know if this will help, but this is from the song Go Rest High on That Mountain:

Go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on Earth is done
Go to Heav‘n a-shoutin‘
Love for The Father and The Son

From Singing Skies and Dancing Waters by John Denver:

I‘ll be there in singing skies and dancing waters
Laughing children, growing old
And in the heart, and in the spirit
And in the truth when it is told

Finally, just before his own passing, Michael Landon was asked how he wanted to be remembered. He answered, „Remember me in laughter, or don‘t remember me at all“

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Claus Buchholz
January 14, 2020 at 4:44 pm

Janet and I have enjoyed volunteering with Band and Robotics at Haslett High, and our children enjoyed their schooling, largely because of the wonderful environment which Bart fostered there. His enthusiasm, generosity, and wisdom were much appreciated. We will miss him.

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sam lickliter
January 14, 2020 at 4:44 pm

To Bart’s wife, children, parents and brothers: I knew Bart as a young man always trying to improve himself as a husband, father, educator and official. He had all of his life’s priorities in order and was a credit to everyone that he touched. May his life be a beacon for all to live and honor him. Peace of the LORD to his family.

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Ann (Agar) Franks
January 14, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Mary Jo and family, I am so sorry to hear of Bart’s passing.
I know it has been many years since I have seen you Mary Jo, but I can’t stop thinking of you and your family.
I have been reading many of the messages here and it is truly amazing how many lives Bart touched. He was a very special man for so many special reasons.
I wished I lived closer and could give you all a hug.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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Dirk and Penny Milliman
January 14, 2020 at 5:57 pm

Our hearts and prayers go out to Mary Jo, Emily and Sam. Such an incomprehensible loss. Bart was a warm and compassionate principal, individual and friend with a mega-watt smile. The kind of person who took the time to come to our son’s Open House when he had over 30 other Open Houses to attend on that day alone. That was Bart. Haslett was very lucky to have him and he will be greatly missed.

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Debra O’Day Gordon
January 14, 2020 at 6:25 pm

My deepest sympathy to you Mary Jo, to your children and Bart’s whole family! I am so very sorry for your loss and will keep you all in my prayers!

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Cindy Anderson
January 14, 2020 at 7:14 pm

My deepest condolences on the loss of Bart. He was an energetic, positive educator and advocate for the success of all students. He embraced the challenge of “Failure Is Not An Option” and was a wonderful role model for students, his staff and colleagues.
Sending healing thoughts and prayers at this difficult time to Mary Jo, Sam, Emily and the Wegenke family.

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Greg and Lyn Freeman
January 14, 2020 at 8:24 pm

So very sorry for the much to early loss of such an amazing man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

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Andrew Midgley
January 14, 2020 at 8:52 pm

Coach Bart Wegenke coached me in football at Eastern. He was a good man that I learned a lot from, things that I still think about today. Happy I got to see him again just a few years ago. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

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The Joblonski Family
January 15, 2020 at 8:29 am

Prayers to the entire Wegenke family. He was an outstanding man. The pride in his school family shined daily, and our son was honored to have him as a principal. The halls of HHS will never be the same. Coach Charlie Joblonski from Pattengill always spoke kindly about the Wegenke twins, and my husband remembers playing catch with them back years ago when they were kids.
Prayers for healing and strength for your family during this time.

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Carla Currey Stevens
January 15, 2020 at 9:33 am

He truly was an amazing man. Thoughts and prayers to his family. He will be missed.

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Brian McKenna
January 15, 2020 at 11:34 am

My sympathy to all the Wegenke family. I only met Bart a couple of times but was impressed by what a personable, caring person he was. It’s obvious from all the heartfelt tributes that he will be missed by a large part of our community. I hope this shared sense of loss provides comfort and strength.

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Tony H. Garton
January 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

Bart was not only an educator but a student in officiating. I had some good times refereeing with he and Bret. People like Bart are genuine. He was worth knowing. May God Bless!

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Robert Troub
January 15, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Just a wonderful person, Bart always had a friendly, positive word for everyone. Bart will be missed

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Pamela Cornell
January 15, 2020 at 3:08 pm

I only worked for Bart as a substitute teacher for a few years. I met him when I had meetings regarding students from Meridian HS that involved Haslett HS.
Bart was always energetic, concerned and engaged no matter the situation or student. He was capable of understanding situations and making decisions based on the facts, but also base on the need. Bart showed great compassion and inclusion.
As a substitute teacher for a few years, Bart would greet me just like I was one of his regular team. Always upbeat and smiling, he’d say hello and ask who I was that day! And he was visible and available to students, faculty and staff. Always. He was in the hallways, out at breaks, and often in classrooms.
Bart was the epitome of a caring, concerned and engaged school leader.

He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him.

With my sincere condolences,
Pam Cornell

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Shelley Nicholls
January 15, 2020 at 3:48 pm

My Deepest Sympathy To Each and Everyone Who’s Lives Were Touched By Bart ~ Especially To His Beautiful Family.
Praying Today, Tomorrow and Especially In The Days Ahead, That Each One Will Find The Strength They Need To Face Each New Day.
God Bless All.

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Terry LeDuc
January 15, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Mary Jo what a beautiful tribute for a special man. You and your family are in my thoughts. My heart goes out to all he touched.

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David Krawchuck
January 15, 2020 at 5:21 pm

Mary Jo and family, I’m sorry to hear of Bart’s passing. Wishing you, and your family continued strength during these times. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Carol Nava (Carolina Quiroga)
January 15, 2020 at 5:48 pm

This is beautiful. Rest in Peace Bart Wegenke. Praying that your family finds peace and comfort. You were truly an amazing person.

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Renee (Beach) Gagnier
January 15, 2020 at 6:05 pm

My deepest sympathies to Mary Jo, Bret, and families. Bart was a great friend in grade school, junior high, and high school. Thinking of him always brings a smile. We made it to the final round of a city-wide spelling bee together! I ran into him in recent years at EL vs Haslett events. He always greeted me with a hug and took time to visit. Quaker alumni have been hit at the core by his loss. He touched many lives. This was the most wonderful tribute for an equally wonderful person. Thinking of you during this difficult time.

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Kristin (Bard) Shurmur
January 15, 2020 at 6:05 pm

To Mary Jo and entire Wegenke family, I was so sad to hear of the terrible news of Bart and am sending thoughts and prayers to you all and hoping the comfort of your family can help you through the days. The years have passed, but our middle school and high school years together really don’t seem that long ago when tragic events happen. He was loved by many and it speaks volumes of a wonderful life lived. Thinking and praying for you all

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Aditya Sharma
January 15, 2020 at 6:52 pm

You meet lot of people in your life, but very few leave a lasting impression.
He was one of the finest gentleman that I met as parents of two children who graduated from Haslett High School.
His compassion and dedication was beyond any one can imagine.
He will be missed by entire community.
May his soul Rest In Peace.

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Lauri Etheridge
January 15, 2020 at 7:25 pm

Dear Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily,
My heart and love go out to you and to our entire Haslett community. This loss is an unspeakable tragedy. Bart was an amazing principal, a treasured colleague, an inspiration, and a friend. Bart held high expectations for all of us and always provided the encouragement to achieve those goals. He was a caring and positive leader. I saw the above-and-beyond commitment he made to the students, especially to those who needed him the most. To me, as a teacher, he was caring, supportive, and upbeat. It was a priority to him to keep a personal positive connection with each of us. The high school is left with a hole that cannot be filled. I will miss him. I will continue to hold all of you in my thoughts. I am so sorry for your loss.

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Onnette Mitchell & Khadejah Andrews
January 15, 2020 at 7:46 pm

Some have life but are not truly living, but you ceased every opportunity to live your life to the fullest. Even in death you still inspire us to take each moment & make the most of it. Your presence in the Haslett community will be missed by many & your love & support for our students will never be replaced.

Rest well, until we meet again.

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Gigi Bonene Schmitt
January 15, 2020 at 9:08 pm

To the Wegenke family- My condolences for your loss. May God bring you strength and peace during this very difficult time and fill your hearts with all of your beautiful memories. What an amazing man and inspiration to the community. God Bless you all.

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Danielle Torres
January 15, 2020 at 9:24 pm

I am so thankful that my daughter Melina was able to have the positive influence of Mr. Bart Wegenke in her life even if it was only for a little over two years. He always made a point to notice her in the halls, to encourage her and to be kind. He knew how to connect to students and how to make each one feel valued and important. “Wegenke” as Melina so affectionately called him may be gone from this world but the inspiration and values he instilled will live on forever.

We hope that warm memories and the knowledge that Mr. Wegenke made a difference for so many will comfort his family at this tough time.

With deepest sympathy,
Danny, Danielle, Melina and Alyssa Torres

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Tim & Laura Roumpz
January 15, 2020 at 9:52 pm

Bart was one of the first faculty members we met when we came into the district. He was wonderful to our son, always a mentor, always fair, always cheering him on…a true leader. He always ensured all of his students were in a safe environment and had the resources to be successful. Our daughter loved Mr. Wegenke as her leader when she attended HS 8 years after her brother…you just could not find a “cooler” HS principal. Mary Jo, Emily, Sam…we are praying for your healing…everyday…and we will continue to do so. Hugs!

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Laurie Palin-Gray & Chuck Gray
January 15, 2020 at 10:07 pm

So saddened to hear of the loss of Bart. He was an outstanding example of kindness and leadership in our school and community. Always welcoming to parents and so supportive of the students. We got to know him while our daughter was in high school, with many school activities, trip to New York, boosters and more. He will certainly be missed. Positive vibes and thoughts to his family and friends. Let’s carry his spirit and example forward in his honor.

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Carmela D’Alessandro
January 15, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Mary Jo and Family, sending my deepest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to all of you. He was a wonderful man and educator…

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Deb Stephan
January 15, 2020 at 11:21 pm

I remember Bart and Bret from high school. I was so saddened when i heard the news. My heart goes out to his family, friends, colleagues, and students. Sending you all LOVE, HUGS, and PRAYERS. GOD BLESS
Rest In Peace Bart

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Art Chiaravalli
January 16, 2020 at 7:13 am

Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily,

I feel blessed to have known the Wegenke family through each one of you through the years. The same spirit that animated Bart is reflected in your beautiful family. I will miss a genuinely caring man who supported me, who went to bat for me, and who treated me as a person. Whatever initiative we were willing on, I never felt like he overlooked us as individuals. I especially will treasure those days when I had the good fortune of having Sam and Emily as students. They, perhaps more than anything else, are a testament to the kind of man Bart was. Please know that our family is praying for the repose of Bart’s soul, and for consolation for your family. Blessings to each one of you.

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Rhonda Sherwin
January 16, 2020 at 9:20 am

My first encounter with Bart was in the summer before his first year at Haslett High School. He went above and beyond to help with a problem before he knew me! This was always his way! I can not imagine my teaching career without him and am forever grateful and inspired by his boundless energy and proactive outlook on life, family, and education.

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Francisco Noyola
January 16, 2020 at 10:23 am

Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Wegenke family. God bless you all ! RIP my friend my brother! Peace ! Frankie Kandi Jay Sara and Taylor Noyola

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Rebecca Stephens
January 16, 2020 at 11:22 am

On behalf of the Gier Park Staff, we extend our condolences to the Wegenke family. We were saddened at the news of your loss, and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers in these days to come, and hope you find peace in the remembrances shared by so many whose lives Bart impacted.

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Charlie Ernst
January 16, 2020 at 11:28 am

My sincere condolences to Bart’s family and circle of friends. I had the pleasure of knowing Bart as a basketball official for the past 28 years of my career. He was always a breath of fresh air that took his role seriously, but handled coaches in a classy manner. I really came to enjoy him and knew he was such a good person off the court. May he rest in peace.

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Doug Block
January 16, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Dear Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily, I will hold you in my prayers…Always think so highly of all of you…. Sam, as your old coach, know how much I loved coaching you on the basketball courts… Your dad would often show up and tell me I was doing a great job…. Even when I wasn’t too sure… I pray all of the Wegenke family will find peace as time moves forward…Thanks for all the good memories …

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Deborah Sudduth, Hill High School Class of 1975
January 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm

To Dr. Gary Wegenke and family,

You and your family have my deepest condolences and prayers. I remember Bart and Bret as little boys from when you were my principal at Hill High School! God has truly blessed you and your family because of the legacy of the Wegenke Family has benefited several generations of students in the Mid-Michigan area! May God hold his wife, children, parents, siblings and the entire family in the palm of His Mighty Hand, offering comfort and peace to all.

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Judie Shepherd
January 16, 2020 at 4:20 pm

Dear MaryJo and family.
Bart will be missed by so many. I worked at GLHS as secretary and thought the world of him. He was the best Grand Ledge ever had. He was so caring of the students, staff and parents of GLHS. I am so blessed to have worked with him and known him for the time he was with us. My condolences to you, Sam and Emily and know that there is a special place in heaven for him.

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Dawn Kellum
January 16, 2020 at 6:39 pm

I’m very sorry to hear about Principal Wegenke. He was always professional, courteous and showed genuine concern for my son who attended Haslett High School. He lead students by example. May God continue to comfort you all and give you peace.

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Terrill Stanley & Family
January 16, 2020 at 6:56 pm

Condolences, prayers and blessings to the entire Wegenke family. So sorry to hear of this news.

The Stanley Family

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BRUCE & MELANIE MILLER
January 16, 2020 at 7:56 pm

Bruce and I are very saddened by the loss of Bart. He certainly left a tremendous legacy as is evident in all these wonderful testimonies. We feel very fortunate to have known him and his wonderful family. Our sincere condolences.

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Alison Boughton
January 17, 2020 at 12:06 am

Our hearts go out to you. May you find God’s peace at this time of awful loss.
Duncan, Ali, Matt and Rob Boughton

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Raymond Coats
January 17, 2020 at 8:17 am

A great friend , A man who I can say was always a real friend. You will be missed my friend .you will be missed. My condolences to the family.

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Don Christy
January 17, 2020 at 8:32 am

Wegenke Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I was Bart’s youth football coach when he played for the Gordon’s Bulldogs. I have such wonderful memories of him. Even as a young man he stood out for his kindness and leadership abilities. He always had a smile on his face and was such a positive influence. He has made a lasting impression on me. He will missed.

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Jianping Shen
January 17, 2020 at 8:43 am

My family and I are heart-broken by the sad news. In addition to meeting with you, I learned a lot about you from your parents. You will be missed by so many people whom you have touched!

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Jeff Miller
January 17, 2020 at 9:55 am

Wegenke Family

This is really tough, as I was one of those life-long friends who knew Bart since the 1st grade. We were teammates in baseball and basketball all the way until 8th grade. Bart and Bret’s dad, Gary was our first basketball coach, he taught us the fundamentals and a few plays that still stick with me now.

Bart was very competitive; we would always have healthy competitions in whatever we could think of at the time. Bart was also very smart he knew how to bring out the best in someone with his infectious personality that made you gravitate to him; he was fun to be around, but most of all he always had your back.

I moved to Haslett in 8th grade, Bart and I would stay touch. I can remember a time when he was over, and asked me, “what I thought about Mary Jo?” I told him, “she was a great girl, why?” He told me, “I’m going to marry her one day.” I said, “if she makes you happy, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, go for it!” Another time when Bart was the principal at Owosso, he asked me about Haslett? I told him I had a great experience at Haslett, the schools are great, the people, “Get it” and it’s a great place to raise a family, why? I’m thinking about applying for the high school principal position. I told him, “you’re a guy who, “gets it” and a town that, “gets it”, “it’s a no brainer, perfect fit”. As we all know, Bart got that job and he took it, “Next Level”.

I moved to Florida about the time he started there and every time I come back to Haslett, he always made time for me. It’s almost a surreal feeling for me when my buddy was giving me a tour of the high school I went to. From reading all the testimonials, Bart has left a great legacy. I didn’t realize what a profound impact Bart has left with me. I’m honored to be one of your life-long friends.

Sending prayers to the entire Wegenke family

– Love you all, Jeff Miller

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Felicia Lindell
January 17, 2020 at 10:15 am

Dearest Wegenke family, Our hearts go out to you at this time. Our 3 boys Alex, Mason and Winston were all cared for by Mr.Wegenke during their high school years and we never doubted his commitment to their welfare as students at Haslett High School. He will be missed. In sympathy, Felicia Mallory Lindell

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Lawton S. Hiner
January 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

My condolences to the family along with my prayers,may he rest in peace.

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Lisa Davis
January 17, 2020 at 10:32 am

Wegenke Family,
Our deepest sympathy to the entire Wegenke family. This is never easy, but know that you will find the strength to get through this in your hearts, where Bart will always be. We are thinking of your during these difficult time and Bart will truly be missed.

Love Lisa and Ivy Davis

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Hope (Tijerina) Wiseman
January 17, 2020 at 11:45 am

Bart was a great person even a young man. He was kind, loving, and caring for as long as I have known him. I have very fond memories that I will always cherish. He will be missed by all.

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Joe Perrelli
January 17, 2020 at 12:20 pm

My deepest sympathy to the entire Wegenke family and all that were dear to him. I pray that you will find peace, comfort, and strength to endure during this time of sorrow.

When I think about Bart, the words that come to mind are competitive, passionate, loyal, inspirational, sincere, honest, funny, brave, talented, teammate, successful, respectful, friend, and most of all, family. I will forever remember his competitive nature on the playing field, his contagious smile, his respect for others, his spirited conversation, and his passion to succeed. I am truly blessed to have been a part of Bart’s life.

May God rest his soul.

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Phil & Millie Heinz
January 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm

Our community lost a top notch educator this week, friend to all and great mentor. Bart made everyone feel special and cared for. I was fortunate enough to work closely with on several projects with the school over the years, he was always scenting of input and willing to try new ideas. He will truly be missed. Our hearts and prayers are with you Mary Jo and Sam and Emily as well as the entire Wegenke family. We are proud to live in Haslett and are so thankful for the the way Bart treated our boys. They are better people today because of his example of grace when they especially needed it! It’s truly hard to pass the high school without thinking of him. We will be saying a prayer each time we do from now on! Thank you Lord for giving us this man of integrity and faith. RIP

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Coach Pat O’Keefe
January 17, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Dear Wegenke Family’s: It was in Bart’s DNA to be a great educator. My dad said in life only three things count. God,Family, and Country. Bart exemplified these principles completely. Bart was a man of God, his family’s; Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily; Mom & Dad; Bret & Blake were his life. The communities he served were blessed to have his contributions. Bart’s life is measured in quality. Until we meet again, may God Hold you in the palm of his hand.

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Ally West
January 17, 2020 at 1:04 pm

I was a student of Haslett High and I loved seeing Mr. Wegenke in the halls. He took the time to get to know his students as individuals and always made me feel seen. My prayers go out to the family at this time.
My deepest sympathies
Ally West

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Victoria M. Olivett
January 17, 2020 at 3:28 pm

My husband Daniel and I, Victoria Olivett, would like to express our deepest sympathy with the passing of Bart Wegenke. Since I had Bart in class many years ago at Pattengill Junior High School, I can still remember his kind smile and sense of humor. He enjoyed learning and was very much of leader in the classroom. I use to see Bart and his brother Bret at sporting events and other activities in the school. Even at that age, he enjoyed the school setting.

May God give you his strength at this time. You are all in our prayers.

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Debbie Vrooman
January 17, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Our deepest sympathy to the entire Wegenke family and all that were dear to him. I pray that you will find peace, comfort, and strength to endure during this time of sorrow.

May God give you the strength at this time. You are in our prayers

Our deepest sympathies

Austin Simpson
Debbie Vrooman, Mom

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Michael Keating
January 17, 2020 at 4:20 pm

I met Bart in the mid eighties through officiating. I realized quickly both Bart and Bret would be great basketball officials. In reading the comments in the Guestbook it is obvious that his legacy is tremendous and he will be remembered by friends and family as a great person. I know that his family and friends will always remember all the love he shared with them. I am sure there is a game in Heaven that needs a ref. It was a pleasure knowing Bart all these many years.

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Brian Lloyd
January 17, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Mary Jo and family,
Bart had a passion for what was best for students and an infectious positive attitude for ways to improve the lives of students in Haslett. I admired Bart as one of the very best principals I’ve been honored to work with. He was a great example of courageous educational leadership, and I will miss him. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
Brian Lloyd

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Tom and Conni
January 17, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Dear Gary and Sandy,
Words can not express how shocked and saddened we are to hear about Bart’s sudden passing. When I opened my e-mail today I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It must be like a terrible dream for you. Our hearts and prayers go out to you as you weather this tragic loss. We know how close you are as a family and can’t imagine what you’re all going through. Please know that you and your entire family are in our prayers. Wish we were there to give you both a hug and tell you how much we care for you.
In love and deep friendship,
Tom and Conni

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Denise Ronning
January 17, 2020 at 7:56 pm

I met Bart when my children addended Grand Ledge High School. He was the favored Asst. Principle by all….and to this day is still revered as one of the best educators that walked those halls. He exemplified professionalism through kindness and understanding. Rarely did he not share that signature smile with students and staff. I knew early on he was destined for greatness. Unfortunately for GL, Bart wanted to move up the ladder. The day I learned he was going to Owosso I called my cousin and told her she was gaining a one of a kind principle for her children. Barts accomplishments in his short life are a true legacy! My prayers are with you Mary Jo, Sam, and Emily. May you feel the healing arms of all of us around you.

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Katie Esch
January 17, 2020 at 9:15 pm

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou

This quote has been on my mind since hearing about Mr.Wegenke passing, because what I remember about him is how he made all of his students feel. I’m so thankful for him showing us all how to treat others and be a light to those around us. Rest in peace.

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Shelley Howe
January 17, 2020 at 9:27 pm

Our prayers go out to you Mary Jo, Sam, Emily and all who loved Bart. We have very fond memories of life when our children were so young. We pray for strength and peace. Your Texas friends send our love.

Jim, Shelley, Trevor and Madison Howe

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Steve Spata
January 17, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Dear Mary Jo and all family and friends, I wish I could be there tomorrow to share the tears together, both for sorrow and the joy of celebrating Bart. Please know that you are all on our prayers for the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding and for His infinite comfort comfort.

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Justin E. Terry
January 18, 2020 at 7:23 am

To the Wegenke family from the Terry family. Our hearts clearly understand your loss. Our condolences, our thoughts and continued prayers will be with you! Blessings to your entire family as you endure this most painful time in your lives.

Praying for you continuously!

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Binnie Drane
January 18, 2020 at 9:39 am

Bart a really great guy, friend, and brother. We had good times at school. We had good times at work (American rentals). We didn’t talk everyday but when ever we saw one another it was always a fun time full of smiles, good talks, and remember whens. You will truly be missed brotha. My sincere condolences to the family Bret, Bart and others. You fellas accepted me in your lives as a brother. And I also see you all as my bros.
Truly great guy and really big loss.

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Gary Muentener, Lansing Hill High School Class of 1974
January 18, 2020 at 10:47 am

Dear Wegenke Family,

Bart gave me a number of good memories and our family is keeping yours in our thoughts and prayers at this time. May God keep you in His care and provide comfort and strength until we are reunited with Bart eternally. Dr. Gary Wegenke was my principal at Hill High School and he created an unparalleled high school experience I treasure to this day. A few years later, as an MSU student, I officiated youth basketball games that Bart & Bret played in. They were excellent players, fun to be around, full of energy and respectful. Like Bart, I married my high school sweetheart. Unlike Bart, I did not have the courage to introduce myself to her until we were students at Lansing Community College. Years later, a softball teammate contacted Bart to fill in periodically when we were short a player for a game. Those were really good times and I wished he could be at all our games- but I understood that his commitment to his role as educational administrator came first. It does not surprise me at all that Blake was inspired to follow Bart as an educator. Further, I had the privilege of watching Bart officiate basketball games, and not only did he call games in exemplary fashion, you could easily see how well respected he was by all involved in the games he worked. Please know that Bart and your entire family has been a blessing to me and so many in our community.

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Faith and Norman Huitt
January 18, 2020 at 1:20 pm

We were shocked and saddened to hear of Bart’s recent death. We knew his parents when Dr. Gary Wegenke was superintendent at Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, Iowa. As an administrator, I had the utmost respect for Gary and his family. From reading through the tributes, Bart mirrored the caring leadership that his father demonstrated. What a personable man who gave his very best to every endeavor. He has left a lasting impression on so many youth in the Haslett Public Schools. Please know that the whole family—wife Mary Jo, children Sam and Emily, brothers Bret and Blake, and parents, Gary and Sandy are in our prayers as you go through this weird, unexpected journey of grief. May God protect you and give you peace at this difficult time.

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Mike Hanson
January 18, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Bart, you’ll be greatly missed! I knew Bart as he was an official for Central Michigan University basketball games for quite a few years, and because I work the scorers table, I would meet with Bart and the other officials before each game. So although I didn’t know Bart outside of that setting, I got to know him a bit and always enjoyed our interactions together. I could tell he was a great guy and he was always upbeat and laughing, much like myself. Maybe that’s why we connected a bit. I was shocked to hear of his passing last weekend and I have sent prayers to his family during this tough time. I remember the last game we worked together this past November and I’m sad to know that I won’t have another opportunity to chat with him before any more games. He was a special man who touched many lives around him and I’m happy to say that I was one of them.

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paula clark
January 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm

I related to Bart a number of years in my role as the Supervisor in Bath Township. He was always welcoming, cooperative and kind. His smile was radiant and gave an impression of a genuinely happy and warm person. He will be missed.

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Terry and Sue George
January 18, 2020 at 4:12 pm

So sorry to hear of the loss of Bart Wegenke! Two or our three children had the opportunity to attend Haslet High School when Bart was principal. He was always very welcoming and had a warm, contagious smile whenever we saw him either in school or at other school events. Our condolences and prayers go out to the Wegenke family that the Lord will guide them through the healing process.

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Cindy Carver
January 18, 2020 at 5:04 pm

Bart Wegenke was just the principal my daughters needed. A warm and personal welcome when we moved back to the district and a compassionate support behind the scenes when needed several years later. His generosity, kindness and unabashed joy were an example to all of us. He will be missed. My sincerest sympathy to your family.

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Ann Donnelly
January 18, 2020 at 6:44 pm

So sorry for your loss. Prayers for peace and restoration.

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sam Williams
January 19, 2020 at 7:16 am

Met Bart at Mary Jo’s parents house in the late 80’s. Only saw him a few times since then but he was friendly and engaging when I ran in to him.. Sorry for your loss Mary Jo. My sincerest sympathy.

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Irma Harrison
January 19, 2020 at 8:40 am

My prayers are with you and your family. I worked with Bart in GL and he was the best. He will be greatly missed

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garth pleasant
January 19, 2020 at 3:29 pm

We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection. Bart will be more than a memory. He will be a living presence because of the life he lived.

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Cheryl & Jake Boss
January 19, 2020 at 9:20 pm

Mary Jo, Sam, Emily, & the entire family,
We are SO very sorry for your loss. Jake, my husband obviously knew him for much much longer growing up in the area. However, I knew him from the halls of Haslett High, ALWAYS with a smile on his face! He was always supportive of making sure our kids were supported with their classes. And I could count on his support whenever I subbed in the building, but also in my role of carrying on Carissa Rahl’s legacy through the Beyond club (that meets at the high school every week early in the morning). As so many have shared, Bart will be missed. Please know that you all are in our fervent prayers for strength, peace, and encouragement.

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Michelle Koivu Zumwalt
January 19, 2020 at 9:22 pm

To The Wegenke Family,

I am so sorry for you loss. I have only just found out and have read so many nice things about Bart and what a great person he was. My you find some peace at some point and know the good that Bart did and all of the lives he touched for the better. My deepest sympathies.

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Amy Freeman
January 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm

No words. The Haslett community mourns the best of the best. Much love and prayers to Mary Jo, Sam and Emily. Rest in sweet peace, Bart. You are dearly missed.

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