On December 25, 1951, Wendy Ruth Redard was born to Herbert and Fayth Clark in Springfield, IL, the youngest of four children. She went home to her eternal reward in the early morning of February 18, 2023. She is survived by her three siblings, Jim (Jeanne) Clark, Dan (Sharon) Clark, and Sandi (Larry) Hansen, son Matthew (Mindy) Redard, daughter Heidi (Zim) Weekley and son Ben Redard. Wendy has eight grandchildren: Elijah, Madelaine, Grace, Rosalie, Jackson, Noah, Benjamin Jr., and Judah.
In her youth, Wendy was a serious athlete–-a fierce competitor who held the record for the longest softball toss at her high school in Pueblo, CO well into adulthood. Although the youngest child in her family, her competitive nature drove her to be the best at whatever she did, sometimes being the “first” to accomplish life milestones, much to the chagrin of her siblings. Her father Herb Clark was a Baptist minister, and the family served in several small churches across multiple cities and states as Wendy grew up. She began her walk with the Lord at an early age, which remained her Northstar until the end of her earthly life.
As a teenager and young adult, Wendy attended a private Baptist university–Ottawa University–in Ottawa, KS, where she graduated in 3.5 years, earning her undergraduate degree in Education. This was the foundation of what would be her lifelong career in the field of education, most of which she spent as a special educator serving some of the most vulnerable children. She earned multiple graduate degrees and certifications along the way and held various roles in school districts in Illinois and Colorado, including teacher, speech language pathologist assistant, assistant principal, and special education administrator. Eventually, she returned to the classroom towards the end of her career as a special education teacher, her greatest passion, and retired in June of 2022.
While her profession was very important to her, she also had many hobbies. She loved the outdoors, especially gardening and tending to her chickens. Every year her garden had to be better than the year before. She loved fishing, hunting, boating, camping, baking and cooking. She loved animals, and had a beloved blue heeler mix rescue dog named Sophie, who guarded and protected her the last 15 years of her life.
However, among all her accomplishments, she would have said her greatest accomplishment in life was being a mother and grandmother. In fact, she would often say, “All I ever wanted to be was a mom.” She raised her children in the south suburbs of Chicago, where the family were members of Homewood Baptist Church. As a grandmother, she made it her job to keep in regular contact with each one of her grandchildren no matter where they were, attending various sporting events, musical performances, graduations, annual Christmas cookie baking and decorating, or simple lunch dates to catch up with all of life’s opportunities coming their way. She was integral in shaping their lives.
Family was Wendy’s biggest priority, as evidenced by her daily care and devotion to her mother Fayth for the last 30 years of her life. She moved her mother into her home, tirelessly providing her with the best care and comfort available, while ensuring she was able to remain an integral part of all our daily lives.
Wendy had a profound impact on all those she encountered. Her family members, friends, former students, and colleagues would commonly say she taught them to demonstrate kindness, by the example she led. She naturally built relationships with anyone who crossed her path. She loved the Lord Jesus Christ and shared His love with all, both in word and in deed. She was a pillar of strength, which she drew from her Lord. And now, in the loving arms of her Father in Heaven, she received the words written in the Gospel of Matthew, “Well done, good and faithful servant: Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
A memorial service will be held for Wendy this summer on July 8, 2023, at Calvary Church in Longmont, CO.
In lieu of flowers, Wendy’s family requests donations be made to St. Vrain Valley Schools Education Foundation to support Special Education Programs at www.stvrainfoundation.org/donate
(Please select “Wendy Redard Memorial” from the MY DONATION IS FOR drop down menu), or to The Wild Animal Sanctuary of Keenesburg, CO www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/