Carole Lynn Werndli Obituary

Classmate John Lorimer emailed me today that Tom Werndli’s wife Carol had passed away on November 5th.  The obituary appears below:

Carol Lynn Werndli

MADISON—Carol Lynn Werndli, age 75, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. Carol was born on Aug. 22, 1942, to Erling and Myrtle Swensen.

She grew up on Lake Mendota in Middleton, Wis., skating and swimming on the lake. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for three years before deciding that teaching wasn’t the career for her. She moved from there to Minneapolis, where she worked in a law firm. She returned to Madison and soon after met the love of her life, Thomas Jett Werndli. They married in 1968 and had two children, Todd Alan and Rebecca Lynn.

Carol survived a grave illness in 1972, which resulted in life-long health issues that she faced bravely, year after year. She returned to work in the late 1970s and worked at Madison General and then Meriter Hospital in various office management roles until her retirement. During her career, she returned to Upper Iowa University and finished the bachelor’s degree she started years before.


Carol found immense joy in her four grandchildren, Alex and Maggie Werndli and Sam and Sophie Broering. In 2011, Carol received a life-saving kidney transplant after being on dialysis for a year. Sadly, weeks after the transplant, her husband Tom passed away. Once again, Carol’s strength and determination shone through as she recovered from the transplant and redefined her life, making new friends and finding new hobbies—including bridge, which she played regularly with many wonderful friends. She also traveled, taking an Alaskan cruise and trips to Florida. Sadly, her health began to decline, making travel more difficult—though she continued playing bridge with her gracious friends, who often came to her for games. Her soul was peacefully freed from her body on a cloudy fall morning.

Carol is survived by her son, Todd (Jae) Werndli and their children, Alexander Jett and Margaret Kristine; her daughter, Becky (Ted) Broering and their children, Samuel Hunter and Sophie Kathryn. She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Jett, and her parents, Erling and Myrtle Swensen.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, with the Rev. John Swanson officiating. Family will greet friends after 10 a.m. until the time of service. Gifts may be made to the UW Health transplant program ( or the Restoring Hope Transplant House (

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