Former FHU professor Wendell Bloomingburg dies at 89

Wendell Bloomingburg family. Source: findagrave.com

Wendell Bloomingburg family. Source: findagrave.com

JACKSON, Tenn. (BNc) — Wendell Bloomingburg, 89, passed away on Oct. 17.  He had taught Bible and history at Freed-Hardeman University.

He and his twin brother Wayne graduated from Washington and Lee High School in Arlington, Va, in 1942. They enrolled at Freed-Hardeman the same year.

After a year in college, they were drafted for service in WW II, where Wendell served as a medic. He was wounded in action and was awarded the purple heart.

After service, they returned to Freed-Hardeman and then to Lipscomb University, where Wendell was “Bachelor of Ugliness” and his twin was class president. Wendell later received a Master’s from Harding School of Theology and a Master’s from Vanderbilt University.

He married Mary Dunham in 1947, who preceded him in death. He preached in Lafayette, Ind., and Springfield, Ill. He returned to Freed-Hardeman in 1958 as professor of Bible and history.

He was preceded in death by three brothers and is survived by two sons, Randy Bloomingburg and Dr. Larry Bloomingburg, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“Brother Bloomingburg cast a much longer shadow than most know. He is kin by marriage to the Perry family of missionaries in Canada. He led restoration history tours in the 60’s-70’s for FHU, which sparked Tom Childers love for the history of the American restoration.  He taught many of us Bible, Bible Geography, American and World History for many years. He was a humble and patient individual,” Dale Jenkins, preacher with the Spring Meadows church in Spring Hill, Tenn., said.

The editor is one of many former students of brother Bloomingburg, whose quiet manner and keen interest in his pupils endeared him to all.

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon at Casey Chapel in Henderson. His body was buried with Military Honors at Chester County Memory Gardens.

For more information, see his findagrave entry by Tom Childers.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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6 Comments

  1. Howard Sparks

    Brother Bloomingburg got more commitment and work from me as a student than any other teacher I ever encountered and made me enjoy it. I remember and appreciate him fondly.

  2. This year has again robbed us a vibrant bible scholar. we mourn though we had never seen him.

  3. Wendell and Mary Bloomingburg were members of the Pinson Church of Christ, near Henderson, when I went to preach there in January, 1988. He and I shared the pulpit at Pinson for several years until his retirement from preaching. I first met Wendell in 1958. I was a second year student at FHC; he was a new faculty member. When Brother Dixon introduced Wendell to the FHC community, in the Henderson church auditorium, he accidently scrambled his name, saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs. Blooming Wendelburg.”

    We have been friends since then. It was painful to watch as Wendell gradually lost his health. When I last saw him about a month before his passing, he was sitting alone in his nursing home room, dosing. I gently touched his arm, and whispered, “Brother Wendell, it’s Don and Virginia.” He roused and responded. We talked for a little while. He was completely at himself and we talked a while of days gone by. He was almost sightless, if not completely, and his hearing was not good. Although I never had him for a class, he was a good friend. I did not attend his funeral, learning of his passing only several days after the funeral. We will miss him greatly.

  4. I remember Wendell Bloomingburg as one of my favorite FHC teachers. It was Paul’s Epistles class that I remember best. That was in 1965. He was a great teacher. I still have and use the book that Wendell chose as the textbook for the course, and I still have the notes! He opened my eyes and my heart to the words of the Apostle to the Gentiles. After graduation and during lectureship times I always wanted a few words with Wendell Bloomingburg. He was kind enough to remember me and encourage me. I shall see him again over yonder. May God continue to bless his boys and their families.

  5. Chuck Palmer

    Thank you for posting this information. Wendell Bloomingburg was a Barnabas for both of us while we were at F-HU from ’79-’81. Whether in Bible class, in fellowship at Pinson church, as our Civitan sponsor, or simply as an older christian friend; Mr.B would always spend some time to get to know us better. Wendell and his wife Mary were always encouraging and displayed a sincere interest in us. I am certain that Donna and I are just two of thousands of young lives that they encouraged. To God be the glory as we consider the encouraging example of this gentle, kind and spiritual man.

  6. Alan Whitten

    I was a student at FHC (a junior college then 1964-66) and enjoyed Bro. Bloomingburg’s American History lectures during my sophomore year. He was sponsor of the Sigma Rhos then and for one of our chapel presentations we did a “This is Your Life” segment featuring him as the unexpected subject. We had the cooperation of his family, including his mother and twin brother. I remember reading to the audience his citation for the Silver Star he received for bravery under fire in WWII while administering aid to his wounded comrades. My first car was a white 1956 Ford Fairlane, the former family car of the Bloomingburgs. He traded it in for a Rambler but made arrangements with the dealer for them to sell it to me in 1963 for $750. I have many fond memories of him and his wife. I know he not only served as an outstanding mentor and role model for me but for generations of young men and women who had the privilege to sit at his feet during their years at Freed.

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