Mike Kueber's Blog

March 9, 2014

A memorial mass

Filed under: Relationships — Mike Kueber @ 2:36 am
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This morning Mike Callen and I attended Tom Wendland’s memorial mass out by Leon Springs.  Tom was a co-worker, and during the mass I learned that he started work in 1968, almost 20 years before I did, and retired in 2001, eight years before I did.

I never worked with Tom, but got to know him when co-worker Jenny Fischer told me that he was selling a nice house in the Woods of Shavano about the time I was thinking about buying a house.  My ex-wife Debbie and I loved the house, and Tom offered owner-financing that was unbeatable in the high-interest year of 1989.  When Tom presented the house to us, one of its selling points was a large deck that Tom had built himself.  He proudly noted that his daughter was married on the gazebo-like portion of the deck.

I saw Tom’s daughter and son for the first time today.  But I didn’t see the mother of Tom’s children, his first wife Tracy Wolff.  After Tracy and Tom were divorced, she married the man who became the mayor of San Antonio and the judge of Bexar County, the estimable Nelson Wolff.

I don’t know the circumstances that resulted in Tracy not attending the memorial service, but it did prompt me think that a mother of children should be with those kids for that service.  Regardless of the circumstances of the divorce or the post-divorce relationship, the mother’s place is with her kids.  Put the bad stuff behind you and focus on the good stuff that remains, which at a minimum consists of your kids and grandkids.

As we were driving back to SA, Mike Callen and I discussed this subject and wondered if our exes would attend our funerals.  Although we would certainly attend theirs, we weren’t sure the feeling was reciprocal.



  1. Thanks for attending my dad’s service. My sister did not get married on that deck. My mom was divorced from Tom over 30 years ago and as you noted, has long since moved on, which was the appropriate thing to do for both of them. While a mother’s place is with her kids, one may also contemplate that the mom is this case is 70 yrs old and the kids are 45 yrs old and 50 yrs old with kids of their own. Things are not always as they seem. Best wishes, Paul Wendland III

    Comment by Paul Wendland — March 12, 2014 @ 3:07 pm | Reply

    • Tom, thanks for your comment, and I apologize for sounding judgmental about your mom. My post was really more prompted by my personal situation (I’ve been divorced for seven years and my youngest is still in college) and my ex-wife’s partial estrangement. As you correctly noted, your mom and dad have been divorced for a long time and you kids are middle-aged, so your situation is significantly different than mine.

      My friend Mike Callen, who attended the service with me, worked more directly with your dad than I did, and he told me lots of good things about your dad. He remembered your dad introducing him to you when you were a law student.

      I’m sorry for your loss.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — March 13, 2014 @ 1:26 am | Reply

  2. P.S. My mom has been married to Nelson quite a bit longer than she was married to Tom.

    Comment by Paul Wendland — March 12, 2014 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  3. Your judgment of our family during this extremely difficult time is truly remarkable. You are correct, when you note that you do not know the circumstances of the memorial service. I would also be interested in knowing what schooling you possess that qualifies you to assess how a mother should or should not act during periods of grief. I understand that everyone has a opinion and that you and everyone else through social media can express that opinion at any time. But out of respect, especially when it is related to the passing of peoples’ loved ones, you would hope that at the very least folks would have the common courtesy to convey those negative opinions without feeling the need to disclose the personal lives of others of which they have no relation.

    Comment by AH — March 12, 2014 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

    • AH, as I explained below to Paul, I apologize for sounding judgmental about your mom. I was probably projecting on to her my current complaints about my ex-wife. And I appreciate your suggestion about being more circumspect in publically commenting on personal lives.

      Please accept my condolences for your loss.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — March 13, 2014 @ 1:39 am | Reply

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