CARBONDALE - Laurel Wendt, 79, of Carbondale, passed away on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at Anna Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Anna.
Laurel was born on September 21, 1943 in Fort Wayne, IN to Elmer and Alice (Geisler) Wendt. She attended school in Indiana, graduating from Indiana University with a B.A. in 1967, an M.L.S. in 1968, and a J.D. in 1978. In 1981, she was certified as a Law Librarian.
Laurel began working in the SIU School of Law Library in 1978. Soon after she arrived, she helped facilitate the movement of the law library collections from the temporary law school building to the new Hiram H. Lesar Law Building. In addition to her library duties, she taught portions of the first year legal research course. She was known for her interest and publication in the area of Illinois legislative history research. She retired in 2006 as a full professor.
Laurel’s interests outside of her profession were many. She was an accomplished seamstress and quilter. She loved nature and southern Illinois. She became a certified naturalist. She filled her yard with flowers and trees to attract birds. She volunteered at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Visitor Center. She was very interested in native Illinois plants and trees. She had an extensive collection of books on the history of the State of Illinois and the first women lawyers.
Laurel loved cats. She always had cats in her home and was known to take in strays. She dedicated herself to spoiling her cats. When St. Francis C.A.R.E. Animal Shelter moved to Murphysboro, Illinois, Laurel became involved with the cat population. She served on the Board of Directors and established the kitten room in the new facility.
Laurel is survived by her brother, John and her niece, Andrea Wendt Causemaker both of Indianapolis, Indiana, and two great-nephews and a great-niece. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, David.
Laurel’s wishes were for her body to be donated to the SIU School of Medicine. A Celebration of Life will be held in the Spring. The date and time of this event will be announced on the St. Francis CARE website and Facebook page. (stfrancis-care.org); (FB) St. Francis Community Animal Rescue & Education, Murphysboro, IL).
Memorials may be made in Laurel’s name to St. Francis CARE, 6228 Country Club Rd., Murphysboro, IL 62966 or at stfrancis-care.org.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Laurel visit www.meredithfh.com.