First Responders 07

Mike "Michael" J Wegenka

June 11, 1937 ~ October 4, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Mike "Michael" Wegenka Obituary

Mike Wegenka, 86, passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 with his loving family at his side.  He was born June 11, 1937 to Joseph and Irene (Wentland) Wegenka in South Bend, Indiana. On October 1, 1994 Mike married the love of his life Josephine (Jaworski), she preceded him in death on November 2, 2019.

Left to cherish his memories are his sisters, Carolyn (Maurice) Stoffelen and Jeannette Wegenka; nephew, Kevin (Linda) Stoffelen; niece, Susan (Steve) Wolff; step-children, Christopher Jaworski, Janelle Jaworski (John Burnside), Curt Jaworski, Patrice Maughon, Pamela (TJ) Borton, along with 13 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.  

Mike attended St. Casimir for grade school and graduated from Washington High School. He worked at Koontz Wagner before he joined the Army Reserves. Later he attended numerous Fire Schools across many states. He was a firefighter for the South Bend Fire Department for 33 years, and was acting Battalion Chief for 17 years.

Mike loved the Green Bay Packers, as well as the New York Rangers.  He enjoyed traveling with Josephine up to Lambeau Stadium.  Together they enjoyed volunteering at Seney National Wildlife Refuge and Yellowstone National Forest. Mike also enjoyed fishing at Crystal Falls, Michigan with his dad; and his fellow firefighters. Some of whom are: Jim Cole, Joseph Wegenka, Bob Rogers, John Kolac and Danny Plencner. He was very involved with his grandchildren and loved to attend their different sporting and 4-H events.

He was very involved with the Smokejumpers Association, Indiana Firefighters Association, South Bend Firefighters. He was also honored with attending lunch at the White House with President Jimmy Carter. Mike was the recipient of Firefighter of the Year Tony Miller Award.  He was a lifetime member of the ZB Falcons Conservation Club and the Order of the Arrow Boy Scouts. He was also the Silver Bear recipient, as well as a member of the American Legion Post #357 and the International Association of Firefighters Local #362. 

Mike loved to read any book written by Robert (Bobby) Kennedy. He especially enjoyed “In Love With Night” and any book about forest fires or battling fires.

Mike served his community starting at a young age as an altar boy at St. Casimir, then joined the military, followed by many years of public service as a Fireman. He continued his service as an Usher and Eucharistic Minister at St. Casimir.

Visitation for Mike will be from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 at St. Joseph Funeral Home, 824 S. Mayflower Rd., South Bend. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at St. Casimir Catholic Church, 1302 W Dunham St, South Bend. Burial will immediately follow at St. Joseph Cemetery with Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Mike Wegenka may be made out to National Smokejumper Association, NSA c/o Mike Wegenka, 10 Judy LN., Chico, CA. 95926­-1714.

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October 11, 2023

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Saint Joseph Funeral Home
824 S. Mayflower Road
South Bend, IN 46619

Mass of Christian Burial
October 12, 2023

10:30 AM
St. Casimir Catholic Church
1302 W Dunham St
South Bend, IN 46619

Military Honors
October 12, 2023

12:00 PM
Saint Joseph Cemetery


National Smokejumper Association
10 Judy Ln, Chico CA 95926


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