Charles Wendell was an exemplary contributor to the various organizations involved in the production and distribution of the history of the Dutch in America, from the early settlers in New Netherland to the contributors to its history at present.
Charles Wendell was a professor teaching languages and a contributor to Dutch American history. He taught French for most of his academic life, after receiving a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale University in 1964. Prior to Yale he had graduated from the Catholic University with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During his academic studies he had spent a year in Grenoble, France.
His first career appointment was at St. John’s University in NYC where he served from 1960 to 1965. Note that during that time he was also still involved in his doctoral studies at Yale. From 1965 to 1969 he served at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, NJ, and from 1969 to 1995, the year of his retirement, he was a professor at Keane College, Union, NJ.
Dr. Wendell was born in Schenectady, NY on February 11, 1930. His parents were Simpson Barney Wendell and Anne Elizabeth Maue. He was a member of the Holland Society of New York. He claimed to be a descendant from Evert Jansen Wendell who came to New Netherland from Emden, East Friesland in the seventeenth century.
Dr. Wendell married Frana Maria Summa on October 17, 1955. They had a daughter, Melissa Ann Wendell, born on December 20, 1956 who predeceased him on April 10, 2006. His wife Frana also predeceased him on September 21, 1982.
During his entire life Charles has been extremely active in volunteer activities. History was his favorite area. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of Plainfield, NJ, the New York State Historical Society, the Dutch Settlers Society of Albany, the Schenectady County Historical Society and the New Amsterdam History Center. In addition he was also a member of the Yale Club of Manhattan.
As an active member of the Holland Society of New York, Charles was a Member of the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2014, Chairman of the Library Committee from 2005 to 2014, a Member of the Genealogy Committee from 1990 to 2014, and Chairman of the Endowment Committee from 2002 to 2005. In addition to the above he was also an active contributor to the Halve Maen, the Holland Society’s journal publication. In that capacity he was the drafter of the obituaries and contributed to book reviews of the Journal.
Dr. Wendell reached beyond the above through his contributions to other Dutch American oriented organizations. He joined the Board of the New Netherland Institute in 2000, served as its Vice President in 2000 to 2006, and as the Institute’s President from 2006 to 2012. He was also active with the New Netherland Museum, which operates the replica of Henry Hudson’s ship the Halve Maen, also known as Half Moon.
Charles Warner Wendell passed away in Summit, New Jersey on June 29, 2015 at the age of 85. He is survived by his brother Robert Wendell, eight nieces, one nephew, and many grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
As a long-time member of the New Netherland Institute I remember Charles fondly. I last communicated with him about a year ago when he suggested to include other Wendells in the Prominent Dutch American listing. He is distantly related to Oliver Wendell Holmes, one of America’s prominent Superior Court Justices.
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015