From the Eau
Elizabeth “Bette” Mencel Wahl
passed away peacefully in her sleep at Milestone Senior Living Memory Care
on Sunday, December 27, 2015.
Bette was born in Eau Claire, WI on December 24, 1940 to Charles and Lydia
Mencel. She grew up in Eau Claire and was a 1959 graduate of Memorial High
School. It was there that she met her husband, Eric. They were married in
November of 1964.
As a devoted wife and mother, Bette put her career and education on hold
to be a stay-at-home mother until her children were grown. She graduated
Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1992 with
a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Bette had an award-winning career as the Project
Coordinator for the Eau Claire Coalition for Youth from 1994 until her
retirement in 2011. In 1997 Bette won the Crime Prevention Program of the
year from the Wisconsin Crime Practitioners Association. Another highlight
was her being honored as one of only seven Americans in 1998 to receive
the National Crime Prevention Council’s Ameritech Award of Excellence in
Bette was very active in the Eau Claire community, serving on boards for
the Senior Center, Junior League, Mental Health Association and Mayo
Clinic Health Systems. She was president of the board of L.E. Phillips
Memorial Public Library and Literacy Volunteers of America. She was an
active member of P.E.O. Chapter CH and the American Association of
University Women (AAUW). Bette co-founded the Chippewa Valley Watercolor
Artists and founded the Friends of the Library organization.
In her spare time Bette loved to golf and play tennis she also enjoyed
pursuing her interest in watercolor painting and participated in numerous
She is survived by her three children, Matthew (Cynthia) Wahl of Duluth,
MN, Carter Wahl of San Diego, CA and Kathryn (Brian) Paulson of Winona,
MN, her brother Charley (Ann) Mencel of Minnetonka, MN, her sister Sedonia
Sorenson of Naples, FL and two grandchildren, Eric and Lauren Wahl. She
was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Hon. Eric James
Memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 2, 2016
at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 310 Broadway Street, Eau
Claire, WI 54703 with Mary Barnes officiating. Memorial visitation will
take place at the church Saturday morning from 9:30 am until the time of
service. Private family committal service will take place in Forest Hill
Cemetery in Eau Claire prior to the memorial service.
Memorial donations may be made to: Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial
Public Library, 400 Eau Claire St, Eau Claire, WI 54701. Friends and
family may offer condolences online at http://www.fullerspeckienhulke.com.
Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI
54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Please read the tribute to Bette which appeared in the Eau Claire