Gina Michele (Andrews) Wendt
July 28, 1975 – February 24, 2023
Gina Michele Wendt, age 47, passed away unexpectedly at 7:45am on February 24, 2023, at the UW
Madison Hospital, leaving a large void in the hearts of countless lives that she touched.
Gina was born to Anthony “Tony” Andrews and Joanne Briggs on a hot July day – which was perfect
because those who knew her knew she hated the cold. If you’d ask Gina where she’s from, you’d likely
get a prompt explanation that she is from “north of Hwy 8”, and you ought to be scared.
Gina had a love for life like none other, a passion for parades and rodeos, and in her younger years
rocked the barrel racing world. When she wasn’t barrel racing, she was certainly up to no good with one
of her first of many best good friends, Ben Elliott. Gina graduated from Webster High School in 1994.
After graduation she embarked on a new series of adventures, relocating to Eau Claire, WI and later the
Eleva-Strum, WI area where she spent time working in construction and bartending in various
establishments where she met many new people and gained lifelong friendships. She was successful at
any and everything she tried her hand at; if she wanted to do something, she’d certainly “make it
happen”. If Gina spent five minutes in any particular location, she walked out with ten newfound
friends. If you were lucky enough to be one of those friends, you knew you’d never have to navigate
anything in life alone, because Gina Michele would single-handedly occupy the role of confidant,
cheerleader, protector (at any and all costs), and problem-solver. You got a problem? Gina would
“handle” it. No questions asked.
Later, she would go on to meet the loves of her life, her children, Bryanne (Stinky), Zachary (Rumper
Doodle Dooski), and Jasmine (Mini). She would later add more kids to her tribe, welcoming Violet and
Jaden Wendt into her heart when she married her soul mate and life-partner Dean Wendt (AKA
“Grandpa Babe” to her littlest loves, grandbabies Jeffrey “Tootie” and Eilah “Pretty”) who she married
on August 14th, 2020. She has spread her legacy through these young lives, teaching her children how to
pay kindness forward, make everyone feel like they belong, how to work hard, and how to stand up for
not only yourself, but anyone else who needs it.
In recent years you could find Gina around a campfire, listening to Eric “Crunch” Church with one or
many of her close friends and a Busch Light in her hand, on the boat fishing with her husband, riding her
UTV “Nancy”, playing with all the kids in her life, cutting trees with her chainsaw “Big Red”, slinging
drinks at Doc’s Bunkhouse UTV park, rocking her newest career in insurance sales, turning anything into
a sled to pull behind a four wheeler or snowmobile with her close friend Lori Helm, or otherwise “adding
to her resume” with whatever latest project she talked her close friend Ashley “Wifey” Schmitt into
tackling. Gina’s heart was much bigger than her little hands and tiny feet. So big that you could feel her
presence as soon as she entered the room. She worked hard, partied hard, and loved even harder.
Gina is lovingly survived by her mother, Joanne Briggs; her loving (and very patient) husband Dean
Wendt; children Bryanne Nickel (Daniel “Boone” Nickel), Zachary Glamann, Jasmine Pyka, stepchildren
Jaden Wendt, and Violet Wendt; grandbabies Jeffrey and Eilah Nickel; brothers Aaron Andrews and
Timmy “Poopy Pants” (Seester Amanda) Andrews and too many other close friends and family to
Gina is preceded in death by her father Tony; her aunt Gayle Chowaniak; and very dear friend Russel
Martinez who she is likely arguing with about the Packers and 49ers as we speak.
A celebration of life is planned in honor of the one and only Gina Michele on July 29, 2023 at 2pm at
Doc’s Bunkhouse, 11702 Elker Rd, Merrillan, WI 54754.
The family would like to give a very large thank you to the first responders and firemen who first arrived
on scene, Wausau Aspirus Emergency Department, the medics that kept her safe while in the air, and
the staff at the UW Madison Hospital burn unit for all of their kindness, hard work, empathy and
understanding for us during what was the worst day of our lives.
“Stay young and wild as long as you can” -Eric Church