By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Joseph Neal Westendorf, 92, of Oswego, was honored as Veteran of the Month during the Kosciusko County Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.
He was born April 22, 1930, in Bluffton, to Joseph and Elsie. He was one of five children.
Westendorf attended Central Catholic Fort Wayne High School. He joined the United States Air Force in 1951.
He attended basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Westendorf was later stationed at Castle AFB in California, assigned to the 93rd Motor Vehicle Squadron.
After serving four years in the United States Air Force, he was honorably discharged in January 1955 at the rank of staff sergeant.
He returned to Fort Wayne and went on to own and operate two gas stations. He was later employed at the Gladieux Refinery. Westendorf retired in 2018.
He married the love of his life, Dorothy Bennett, on Oct. 17, 1953. The couple will celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary next week.
They have nine children: Doug, Debbie, Laura, Kim, Nancy, Jo Ann, Barbara, Joey, and Michelle; 19 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
“My father taught me by his example how to be a loving husband and father and how important family is,” Westendorf’s son, Doug, told InkFreeNews. “Still to this day, our family gets together regularly. He also was the sheriff on Lake Tippecanoe for 24-25 years … never wrote a violation, just made sure boaters understood the rules of the lake and had fun.”