Nemaha Herald

1938-2016 

Hastings resident, Dr. Wendell Fairbanks, 78, went to the Great Hunting Grounds in the sky May 17, 2016. Services were held Saturday, May 21, 2016 at the Grace United Methodist Church, Hastings with Rev. Nita Hinds Park and Rev. Dr. Lee Wigert officiating. Burial was in Parkview Cemetery, Hastings. Memorials may be given to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Foundation to support the public Outdoor Education Expo in Nebraska parks or the Food For Thought Program in Hastings. Wendell was born January 19, 1938 in Hastings to Lyle and Merna (Haskins) Fairbanks. At a young age he lost his mother during childbirth. His father eventually remarried and Wendell gained a new lifelong mother, Mary (Flurry). Wendell spent most of his childhood on the farm in Wood River where he learned the value of hard work and a love of nature. He graduated from Wood River High School, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and received his MD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He married Sarah Sue Hinds on August 23, 1959 in Grand Island, Neb. From this marriage three daughters were born: Wendelyn Sue, Nancy Jane and Linda Jo. They lived in Omaha, Auburn, Alliance and Hastings, Neb. Doc was a partner in the Auburn Clinic and the Alliance Medical Center. Wendell also mentored many young medical students through the years as part of the University of Nebraska Medical Center preceptorship program. In the Army National Guard, Wendell served as First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. After retiring from medicine, he created his own real estate company, which enabled families to own their own home. Black Powder Rendezvous were an important part in the young family’s life. Staying in tipis, wearing buckskin clothes and competing in muzzle loading rifle matches allowed him to escape the pressures of his medical career. Hunting and fishing were his passions and he made sure to pass these along to his grandchildren. Wendell served as team physician for and competed with the United States Shooting Team. In fact he tied for first place in the World Cup match in Australia. Wendell and Sarah enjoyed traveling to many different countries. He was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church, the Masonic Lodge, Four Rivers Shooting Club and a lifetime member of the NRA. Wendell is survived by his wife Sarah of Hastings; daughters, Wendelyn “Sue” Fairbanks of Stillwater, Okla., Nancy Fairbanks of Grand Island, and Linda Billings and husband Glenn of Woodward, Okla.; six grandchildren—Kasey Grim of Colorado, Jake Grim of Grand Island, Luke Billings, Sarah Billings and Abby Billings, all of Woodward, Okla., and Katie Fairbanks of Stillwater, Okla.; two sisters, Deloris Teachworth Robb and husband Gene and Sharon Camp; one brother, Bill Fairbanks and wife Pat; his mother, Mary Fairbanks and many nieces, nephews and special friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Lyle Fairbanks, mother Merna Haskins and sister, Barbara (Fairbanks) Bruce. Apfel Funeral Home, Hastings, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family from www.apfelfuneralhome.com.