- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
A career Army man, spent 22 years in service On March 9, 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Wendell Lee Thurman passed away, having lost the most courageous battle of his life against cancer. Wendell died peacefully, at home, surrounded by his family. He was 77 years old.
Wendell was born in Augusta, Kan., to Lee and Hannah Lefler Thurman, but spent most of his youth in Ava, Mo., playing along Rippee Creek with his siblings Gordon Thurman (recently deceased), Faye Sims of Louisville, Ky., Gayle Morgan of Galt, Calif., and Rosella Russell of Benicia. Calif. All his sisters survive him.
Wendell was a career Army man, having spent 22 years serving our country. He applied for, and was accepted to Officers Candidate School at Ft. Sill, Okla., receiving his commission as a second lieutenant on June 26, 1956. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot with the “Screaming Eagles.” For his meritorious service he received numerous commendations. Wendell retired from the military on May 31, 1972 and moved his family to Monterey, Calif., which had long been “home base” during Wendell’s many tours around the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Thurman was an active business member of the Monterey Peninsula since 1972. For the next 25 years, he built, bought and sold homes throughout the Monterey Peninsula. His handshake on a business deal was “as good as gold”, and he believed that everyone should be treated with honesty and respect. He was always willing to lend a hand to someone in need. He truly lived by the Golden Rule and in return was respected and loved by all who knew him.
Wendell is survived by Dora, his devoted wife of 55 years, and their three children: Gina Thurman, Merced, Calif., Lisa Thurman Miroyan, Soquel, Calif., and Michael Thurman, Austin, Texas. He is also survived by his children’s spouses, seven grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services were conducted at the Santa Rosalia Chapel at the San Carlos Cemetery on Friday, March 14. He was buried with full military honors and the celebration of his life continued at the family home after the service.