March 9, 1967 - November 29, 2020


Wendy J. Gruenes, age 53, passed away Sunday at her home, surrounded by loved ones. She was born March 9, 1967, in Winsted, MN to William & Karen (Guggemos) Sawatzke. She married Tim Gruenes on August 24, 1990, in Waverly, MN. Wendy was a very fun, strong, kind, caring and loving person who will be dearly missed.

Wendy grew up on Little Waverly Lake—a childhood filled with water skiing, kittens, and many friends. She graduated from Howard Lake-Waverly High School in 1985 where she was a cheerleader. Wendy went on to attend Regency Beauty Institute in St. Cloud, MN where she received a degree in cosmetology. Wendy was a skilled hair stylist until she retired to take care of her children full-time. Her family was fortunate to continue receiving haircuts from her thereafter.

Wendy was very creative and always had an eye for design. She enjoyed drawing and making jewelry. Her home was beautifully designed and decorated. She loved the holidays. The family was fortunate to get a Christmas tree up and decorated this year just in time for her to enjoy. Wendy loved spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed traveling and dining out—for seafood in particular. Wendy will be remembered for her great smile and sense of humor. She was never afraid to exchange jabs with Tim or her brothers.

Wendy is already sorely missed by her family. Tim will miss their travels and Friday date nights. Evan will miss their conversations, hugs, and exchanging cat videos. Zoe will miss shopping, getting their nails done, and watching movies together. Muffins the family cat misses sitting on the lap of her favorite human.

Wendy is survived by her husband, Tim of Becker; children, Evan Gruenes (Eric Somers) of Minneapolis and Zoe Gruenes of Becker; mother, Karen Sawatzke of Waverly; sister and brothers, Mary (Mark) Lynch of Stillwell, KS, Joel (Jennifer) Sawatzke of Waverly, and Neal (Jocelyn) Sawatzke of Geneva, Switzerland; mother-in-law, Grace Gruenes of Eden Valley; sister-in-law and brothers-in-law, Kris (Chip) Tancil of Surprise, AZ and Paul Gruenes (Dana) of Becker; and many nieces and nephews. Wendy was preceded in death by her father, William Sawatzke; and father-in-law, Peter Gruenes.

A small funeral mass will take place at 11am on Friday, December 4 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly, MN. All are welcome for a celebration of life being planned for spring or summer—whenever it is safe to gather.